Tag Archives: relevance

Relevance and Notoriety

Relevance and Notoriety

This entry is part 26 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

One of the powerful spells cast over the modern world is the charm of celebrity. One quipped that a celebrity is someone who is famous for being famous, but few stop to notice that. Celebrity culture is the true opiate of the masses, and if it were not so, the word paparazzi would never have… Continue Reading

Relevance and Intelligibility

Relevance and Intelligibility

This entry is part 25 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Modern Christian champions of relevance mean many things by the term. One use is the concept of intelligibility. When calling for the church to be relevant to this generation, they mean that its message must be understandable, clear, and intelligible. Thus far, no objection. No command exists to make the Gospel obscure or arcane. If… Continue Reading

Relevance and Importance

Relevance and Importance

When some people speak of “making Christianity relevant”, they are referring to demonstrating Christianity’s importance and applicability. They fret over the fact that unbelievers and the wider culture dismiss Christianity and religion so easily. Secularism provides people with enough food, shelter, conveniences, comforts and sufficient diversionary amusements to keep them from truly investigating the claims… Continue Reading

Relevant or Current?

Relevant or Current?

This entry is part 24 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

When some people speak of the importance of relevance, they don’t mean relevance at all. After all, relevant, strictly speaking, merely means ‘pertinent to the matter at hand’. Relevance needs an object: relevant to whom or what matter?, we may ask. The fact that some people use the word relevant as a quality not requiring… Continue Reading

“Relevance”

“Relevance”

This entry is part 23 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Perhaps one of the great put-downs today is to be told that your church is not relevant, or that your preaching is not relevant to “the issues people are facing”. Being called irrelevant cuts a little deeper than being called intolerant; for if you’re cited for being intolerant, it merely means your teaching may have… Continue Reading

What Do You Mean, Relevant?

What Do You Mean, Relevant?

Kevin T. Bauder Many contemporary American Christians obsess over relevance. They seem to feel personally obligated to make Christianity relevant. This wish to make Christianity relevant, however, raises two questions. First, why should Christianity be made relevant? Second, what would a relevant Christianity look like? The answer to these questions will depend partly upon the… Continue Reading

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Horatius Bonar on Trendiness in Religion

Every pastor and Christian leader feels a certain pressure to be relevant. We do not want Christianity to slip away into an oblivion. We do not want the church to go “backward” during our watch. This impulse has led many to the conclusion that Christianity must “keep up with the times.” One of the criticisms… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Conclusion)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Conclusion)

This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 This series has been intended to address biblically the necessity of so-called relevant ministry. I have deliberately avoided articulating “dividing lines” of what is necessarily “relevant methods” and what is not. In fact, I do not believe such lines would… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 13)

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 I have been arguing that Paul’s method of ministry deliberately avoided attempts to be (what we would call) relevant. Paul not only says that he himself avoided relevant methods, but compels his successors to do the same. His manner of ministry… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians debunks the importance of the modern crutch of “relevance.” Throughout this series, I have been arguing that Paul deliberately eschewed artificial props to make the gospel more attractive to unbelievers. Instead, he preached Christ and… Continue Reading

Change wisely, dude.

Change wisely, dude.

A young writer has some advice for church leaders trying desperately to attract and retain young people: change carefully and wisely. What young people say they want in their 20s is not necessarily what they want 10 years later. Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 11)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 11)

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 Modern American evangelicalism has a tendency to augment the preaching of the gospel with certain practices and cultural adaptations by which they believe the Word of God becomes “relevant” to unbelievers. I have been arguing that Paul’s “method of ministry” outlined in the… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10)

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 I return this week to the series I abruptly left unfinished about a year ago. According to 1 Corinthians 1-3, the means that God wants to use to save sinners is the gospel, the preaching of “Christ crucified.” The unsaved of this world do… Continue Reading

“Brothers, we are not movie-hawkers…”

“Brothers, we are not movie-hawkers…”

“I hope there aren’t too many pastors who will be taken in by this. I couldn’t agree more with the line I saw in Jared Wilson’s twitter feed yesterday: Pastors, your desperation to be relevant is easily manipulated.’ Manipulation is exactly what is going on here, pastors, but the motivation is not the gospel. The… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 8)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 8)

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul repeatedly points to the preaching of the deliberately unadorned gospel as the essence of Christian ministry. In the first five verses of 1 Corinthians 2, Paul points to his own pattern of ministry to prove that the mere preaching of the gospel… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 6)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 6)

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 This series has been looking at the connection of Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 1-3 and the contemporary church’s dependence on relevance for evangelism. In the last post, I argued from 1 Cor 1:30-31 that God deliberately made the gospel message impossible for natural men to accept in… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 5)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 5)

This entry is part 5 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 This series is applying the words of Paul in the early chapters of 1 Corinthians to ministry in the 21st century. In part 1, we looked especially at Paul’s argument in 1 Cor 1:17, that when men rest on a particular manner of ministry other than the proclamation of… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 4)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 4)

This entry is part 4 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 I believe that the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians ought to guide our thinking concerning the relationship of our efforts to minister the grace of Jesus Christ and so-called cultural relevance. This series has been slowly working through those chapters, seeking to understand the words of Paul, and then… Continue Reading