The great nineteenth-century evangelist D. L. Moody was once asked to describe what he thought the relationship between the church and the world ought to be. Should the church reject the world altogether — separating from it so as to avoid contamination? Or should the church embrace the world wholeheartedly — becoming just like it so as to reach the lost? The evangelist answered, “The place for the ship is in the sea; but God help the ship if the sea gets into it.”To read more, see his post on what it means to be culturally removed, and more recently on what it means to be culturally relaxed. And since he's still writing the book, you can offer feedback on what you think.
Moody rightly outlined the proper relationship between the church and the world: Christians must be in the world but not of the world — a very difficult balance to maintain, as we will see. To be in the world but not of it assumes two extremes that need to be avoided. We need to avoid being culturally removed (failing to be “in the world”). We also need to avoid being culturally relaxed (becoming “of the world”).
Thursday, January 31, 2008
In Not Of
Tullian, who is writing a book for Multnomah/Waterbrook entitled Unfashionable, recently wrote on his blog: