To engage or retreat?

Thoughts after hearing a good sermon yesterday by Pastor Eric Wait at New Hope Church in Ogallala, Nebraska:

TriStar Pictures

TriStar Pictures

In America, we live in an increasingly profane culture that holds decreasing regard for eternal topics in the public square. Currently, though, people right and left are talking about religiously themed movies – especially the commercially successful “Noah” and “Heaven is for Real.”

What would be the best strategy for the church in a hostile culture?

  • Start, or join, conversations about sin and judgment, or whether heaven is a real place. See these films, or at least read up on them. Whether the films are good or bad isn’t our primary concern. They can start conversations about eternal topics – conversations that people usually avoid.
  • Argue amongst ourselves about whether these films are completely faithful  to Scripture. Agree that they’re not. Certainly don’t see them, and then only talk about them to criticize them.

Part of the reason these films have been successful is that they tell good stories. Powerful stories. Stories that don’t necessarily tell us what to think, but that raise interesting questions and provoke us to think, and talk.

I think we can work with that.

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