Category Archives: Culture

But What Is Your Perspective?

Post-modernism has given us the blessing and the curse of considering things from a multiplicity of perspectives. It is a true blessing to be able to step out of one’s own shoes and attempt to understand things from a different position. That is something we should attempt to do and often the result is a healthier, more robust set of beliefs than settling in on what you have believed without really considering other options.

It also comes with a weakness or a cost and that is the inability to settle in on conclusions. You can get so wrapped up in considering things from so many other potential positions and perspectives that it locks you into tentativeness…never finding a definite landing place because there are always more things to consider…more information to gather…and other people to consider.

At the end of the day we need to consider other perspectives but we also need to not be afraid to value our own perspective and the conclusions we reach because of our unique perspective. Only you are you and there is value in your perspective. So don’t be afraid to come to conclusions. Don’t be afraid to know what you believe. Understand that is defining that you are by default recognizing that dozens, even hundreds of other perspectives would potentially conflict with your position but that doesn’t make it wrong.

From a biblical perspective, imagine David taking Goliath’s perspective on things. What a sensitive thing to do! Wouldn’t this make him far more likely to consider his conclusion of confronting Goliath in the name of the Lord quite a bit more tentative? Our sensitivities can be our worst enemies. That doesn’t mean we reserve the right to run over people. It does mean that not all perspectives will take us to the right conclusion instead, only to confusion.

This example reminds us that there is one “other” perspective that truly does matter and trumps all the others…even our own…and that is God’s perspective. The good news is, His perspective doesn’t shift and change based on a multiplicity of circumstances and variables. We cannot read the mind of God but we can discern what is holy and right…what is morally good and what is morally corrupt and we can act accordingly. This is the One perspective that will keep us living as we should and should be considered each and every time we have a decision to make, a view to take, or a thing to do.

Being Direct

Every eldership I have ever worked with I have told up front that I will trust them and that I expect for them to tell me anything I would need to know including any criticism that they are directing toward me. This is a very important thing to establish in any important relationship. Often weContinue Reading

Regaining Our Certainty in Churches of Christ

We used to be a certain bunch. We were certain about pretty much everything. We were certain about our doctrine. We were certain about our identity. We had things locked down tight to a fault. Part of this had to do with a backwards hermeneutic that was self-perpetuating of our pre-determined conclusions that always guaranteedContinue Reading

Postmodernism and Historical Continuity

I saw a poll on TV the other day that asked respondents the question: “Is today the most divided period in American history?” My first thought? Ever heard of the Civil War? Postmodernism is self-absorbed. Modernism was too. No matter what your worldview is we will find a way to be self absorbed. Modernism wasContinue Reading

Making the Foreign, Native: Connecting with Culture on Three Levels

Cultural awareness is very important in Christianity. We get focused on this when it comes to international missions, especially full-time, long-term, over-seas missionaries. They can spend years studying language and culture in order to be effective in a new content. It is an attempt to make the foreign native to us. It is to identifyContinue Reading

Swimming Upstream: The Shift from Modernism to Postmodernism and Legalism to Grace

The culture we live in is like the old fish who asked the two younger fish “how is the water.” The two young fish looked at each other and one asked, “What is water?” Culture is inescapable and it influences the way we think, behave, etc. When the predominant culture of the Western world wasContinue Reading

Openness and Honesty are Not Ends unto Themselves

There is an idea that has been floating around out there for a while that says as long as you are honest about your mistakes then everything is good. There has been a premium placed on authenticity and transparency over the last few years that is very healthy in one respect. However, it can veryContinue Reading

From Thanksgiving to Black Friday…What a Difference a Day Makes

It only took a day for the Hebrews to go from being trapped by the sea to walking through it…a day for God to make all the animals and a day for people to turn from seemingly harmless, loving, thankful, and generous people to ravenous wolves roaming the aisles. What a difference a day makes.Continue Reading

Creating Real, Lasting Change Requires More Than New Practices

When I have taught on 20s & 30s ministry the main thing people want to know is what can they go home and do to fix it. The idea is, if we do the right things the right results will follow. The problem with that is, if the underlying core values, structures, leadership, worldview, orContinue Reading

Reality Television, Real vs Rigged and Implications for 21st Century Christianity

Reality television is booming business. Everything from Duck Dynasty to Pawn Stars to the Pickers…it seems there is a niche for just about everything. It begs the question, just how much of reality television is actual reality and how much of it is rigged? It is obvious that producers, writers, and actors have advanced knowledgeContinue Reading

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