When did the world change? Even as a former Catholic-turned-pagan in the drugged-out 60’s I had a respect for the Bible. I really didn’t know why I just did and I wasn’t alone. It seemed everyone did. I remember a time when that beloved children’s song, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” expressed what was thought to be an unassailable truth. Not any longer. Today’s response would be, “Oh yeah, says who?”
I’m pretty sure that if Billy Graham were preaching at Trash – a rock-n-roll bar in Williamsburg Brooklyn where we did church for ten years – and he stood there on the stage holding a Bible open in one hand and gesturing with the other as was his habit and said, as he often did: “The Bible says…” in order to punctuate his point with authority, those sitting there listening would probably respond with an unimpressed yawn.
That’s because the world has changed. American life has changed right under the Church’s nose and its gone largely unnoticed. The rules of engagement have changed. It’s a new game and those of us who have been given the task of preaching the gospel in this new world are in jeopardy of losing our ability to communicate it because we don’t know the new rules, the new language. While the gospel is timeless our approach to talking about the Bible in a culture that doesn’t take it seriously must change. I’m afraid even good ol’ Billy would have to make some adjustments speaking to a world that has de-churched itself and become post-Christian.
What to do? Well I recently came across an article by Andy Stanley that I think crystallizes the challenge and offers some sage advice not just for preachers but anybody who wants to share the gospel in a way that can be heard and understood today. Check it out at: