Christianity in the Culture of Technology.
Crouch is one of the best thinkers on culture note his book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling. He took the ideas of Albert Borgmann and applied them to the philosophy, culture, and practice of American evangelical churches in general and American megachurches in particular. Over time, consumers lose all sense of the value of process. They think technologically, expecting their needs to be addressed through devices, even when those needs cannot be commoditized.
I contend that American evangelicals have learned to think of spiritual maturity and community as commodities. They expect their churches to provide the devices necessary for enjoying those commodities with minimal engagement in the processes that create and cultivate them.
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Churches grow if their programs and services seem to deliver what is expected, yet neither maturity nor community is a commodity. Neither can be enjoyed without full participation in process.
The result is ironic: As I listened to the presentation, I found much of what was said disturbing, not because anything was wrong, but because so much of what we have allowed ministry to become has gotten off center. Device thinking focuses on efficiency best means to achieve an end , calculability bigger is always better , predictability making people feel comfortable and safe , and control institutionalizing and packaging.
This is what a technological society values. It is also what pastors can come to value, especially as the church grows into a large corporation. In contrast, grace thinking is much more interested in participation how can we get maximum personal engagement with what matters? Just as our consumerism culture has reduced, fragmented things into mere commodities to consume, assisted by machine and technology, so the church has tended to fragment, reduce, mechanize the things that are focal, transcendent, things that provide a center of orientation.
It looks something like this—worship is reduced to excellence on stage, with passive observers expecting something more next week; fellowship gets reduced to giving units; obedience gets reduced to legalism; sacrament gets reduced to an efficient prefilled communion cup with wafer; and the Bible gets reduced to a sermon extracted from its metanarrative—e. Here are other things—Keep structures simple and lean.
Do things with, not for, people. Value personal touch over distant technology. Too easily I find myself embracing a theology of achievement. But it is not to be fought over our own preferences.
We must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us. We must fight to put to death anything in us that would hinder us from pursuing Christ with all we are. We must fight to worship Him with a joyful adoration that can-not be contained.
Fight against the sin at work within yourself. Fight against consumerism and disunity.
Fight for a grateful heart. Fight for the truth to captivate you in a way music never could. Fight to stand in awe of a mighty God who rescued you and graciously sings over you.
Cashback will be credited as Amazon Pay balance within 10 days. Mark Clavier examines how people are initiated into a consumer culture during childhood and thus The State of the Church and the Church of the State: Spirituality is conflated with well-being; both are now located within the therapy culture where we pay professionals to fix us. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Clergy in a Complex Age. So what needs to happen?
Consumerism and the Church.