We Lutherans make a big deal about the Reformation. We celebrate it on October 31, the date in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These very scholarly statements challenged the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church at that time, which was the only institutional […]Read More
What will church cultures look like in America as it transitions into the post-Christian era? Pivotal for my understanding of a fresh perspective on church life was the study of Gordon Fee’s 967-page book God’s Empowering Presence (1994)—his careful and thorough study of the 169 references to the Spirit in the Apostle Paul’s letters. He […]Read More
Most traditional mainline Christians are still in the Sacred-Canopy Culture that prevailed through previous American history. After World War II the Modern Scientific Culture challenged the traditional. Mainline ministers oriented themselves to addressing that new culture. Traditional churches were on the defensive. But in recent decades young adult Americans have moved on to the Post-Modern […]Read More
Congregations have a church culture. Each is unique in some way but shares much with other congregations in the same church body. One denomination’s general culture is different from that of another.
When traditionalists want to preserve their tradition, the necessary question is which tradition: the church culture of the 1970s, which is different from that of the 1930s, which is different from that of the 1880s, which is different from the church culture in the 18th century back in the homeland. Church cultures change over the generations in sensible ways. Leaders are continually fine-tuning what they do and how. Seldom does a congregation’s culture change abruptly and completely, however, that is the fear of many who resist.
What does change are the ways of communicating and organizing.Read More