Christian Life In A Post-Christian World
In his book, After Christendom, Stuart Murray speaks of the new place of the church in a culture where the Christian faith loses coherence and influence. He lists five shifts that will take place:
- From the center to margins. In Christendom the Christian story and the churches were central, but in post-Christendom these are marginal.
- From majority to minority. In Christendom Christians comprised the (often overwhelming) majority, but in post-Christendom we are a minority.
- From settlers to sojourners. In Christendom Christians felt at home in a culture shaped by their story, but in post-Christendom we are aliens, exiles, and pilgrims in a culture where we no longer feel at home.
- From privilege to plurality. In Christendom Christians enjoyed many privileges, but in post-Christendom we are a community among many in a plural society.
- From control to witness. In Christendom churches could exert control over society, but in post-Christendom we exercise influence only through witnessing to our story and its implications.
- From maintenance to mission. In Christendom the emphasis was on maintaining a supposedly Christian status quo, but in post-Christendom it is on mission within a contested environment.
- From institution to movement. In Christendom churches operated mainly in institutional mode, but in post-Christendom we must become again a Christian movement. 1.
- How do these shifts change the way you see your country?
- What must then change with the way we act and operate as Christians?
- What battles should we stop fighting as the church? Where should we redirect our efforts?
1. Qtd. in Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ Everyday Church, 22
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