Nearly a year ago I began to follow the moving and shaking that has been happening in the northern part of my state in a booming Christian congregation called Granger Community Church. A typical megachurch, Granger prides itself in being fully relevant to popular culture even to the extent of using Coldplay songs to headline services and basing sermons on popular movies, drawing out “spiritual themes” and applying them to the lives of Christians.
As a testimony to the belief in the method above the message, executive pastor Tim Stevens wrote a book called Pop Goes the Church: Should the Church Engage Pop Culture? to defend the church’s philosophy of taking pop culture as the driving force behind its weekly services rather than the good news of Jesus Christ.
Lacking theological basis, services at Granger lack the biblical substance, giving popular culture the center stage. Granger wrongly bases its success on the number of people in attendance, not on the strength of their belief. For the remainder of this post I will take chapter 8, titled “I’m Not a Theologian, But…” and address each of the ten points he tries to make to justify a position that the church should not only address popular culture, but completely embrace it.
As a licensed counselor, I have read more than my share of books on managing emotions and relationships. Unfortunately they are all the same. Sure they each have a slightly different take. Some even include their own unique Venn diagrams of emotional issues and how they relate to physical boundaries. Even the Christian books simply take what everyone else has already done and add a dash of Scripture, especially the latter part of Ephesians for flavor.
So when a friend told me that she had read a fantastic book on marriage, I have to admit I had a generous level of skepticism. I trust her judgment so thought to myself, “What’s the harm?” Perceiving my reservation, she sat me down and read a few pages from the first chapter. My curiosity sparked, I graciously borrowed her copy.
Further Reflections on a Day Among Atheists at the Creation Museum
In a sea of T-Shirts bearing scarlet ‘A’s and pictures of Charles Darwin, one man’s garment did not fit.
Standing in line for our tickets, I noticed him right away. At first all I really noticed were the words “heaven” and “NOT,” and at that glance figured is was a slam against the idea of an afterlife and pearly gates in the sky somewhere over the rainbow. Then I became quite surprised: this particular atheist sported excellent Christian theology! Later when I saw him inside the museum noticed what was written on the back:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this NOT from yourselves, it is the gift of God— NOT by works, so that no one can boast.
The irony was amazing! Here I was, a Christian passing as an atheist, and I end up running into an atheist who decided to wear perfect Christian theology on his shirt.
Skeptics Among Us: Atheists Visit the Creation Museum
What follows is a video tour of the Creation Museum put together by a group of atheists (and an agnostic) that toured on the day of our visit as “Christians In Cognito.” Some of what you may witness may make your hair stand on end, but just accept it as a chance to practice tolerance. Overall, they ask some very important questions.
Please share your thoughts below. I am definitely interested in whatever reaction you may have, good or bad.
Heralded as the “coffee shop to end coffee shops,” the Seattle giant that spews the caffeinated liquid may be seeings signs of decline. It would seem that the company known by some as simply “Starbucks” is seeing a loss in market share. Stores are closing.
Here in Indianapolis it is obvious that several well-positioned locations have closed. In at least one case (near the intersection of 96th Street and Allisonville Road), the store operated by the behemoth is now a locally owned small business whose main income is the selling of a drink that is made by grinding beans and steeping those grounds in hot water.