Last night, beside the leadership of Dick, a friend and mentor, I began a discussion class on The Shack for our Wednesday night classes. It was a great start to the class. Many Christian leaders have crossed this book off of the appropriate reading list for their congregations. While I understand some of their concerns, I cannot understand their unwillingness to have a conversation with our culture. Whether you agree with the book or not, millions of unbelievers are reading this book in their quest for spirituality.
Christians have had an interesting relationship with culture through the years. There have always been those who have walled themselves off from culture in monasteries for their spiritual quests. Others have sought to censor every book afraid of what some ideologies might do to those with "weaker" faith. In the process, Christians have missed many opportunities to have viable conversations about God with those who are seeking.
It is my belief that we must discern who God is in whatever ways culture tries to portray him. It will be important to name heresy for what it is. And it will be important to name God-honoring material for what it is. But to me, missing out on culture's conversation about God is always a mistake. The DaVinci Code and the Passion of the Christ are just two cultural phenomena that gave us an opportunity, but many churches failed their members by not preparing them for the conversation.
I am always excited by Christians who want to have a conversation with the world. Perhaps the most positive thing Postmodernity has given us is a group of people with a renewed interest in their search for spirituality. New age movements have caught their attention. Eastern spirituality is on the rise. There are all kinds of pseudo-spiritual conversations going on out there. It's time that we join the conversation. And the next few Wednesday nights provide the Littleton Church an opportunity to do just that!
And beyond the class itself, I have an incredible opportunity to watch an incredible teacher teach beside me. And no one should pass up an opportunity like that either. The next few weeks will be full of possibilities!