Should Australians rethink the relevance of Christianity?
The Sunshine Coast Daily recently ran an opinion piece where they asked Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby and Chrys Stevenson of the Sunshine Coast Atheists:
Is it time for Australians to reconsider the relevance of Christianity?
You can see both responses here.
It’s interesting the way Lyle answered the question, and I think it largely falls in the issues that Nathan has been blogging about, namely, whether the ACL is really ‘on message’ in terms of speaking about Jesus.
As Christians, we believe that the gospel is relevant, that it crosses cultures and is for all people, but unfortunately, there’s no mention of the gospel in this piece.
While it’s true that Christianity has had a significant positive influence in western and Australian society and culture, if that’s all it is relevant for, then we’re in trouble.
As far as Christians ought to be concerned, it’s not so much whether Christianity is relevant to Australians, but whether Christ is relevant to Australians, and I feel that in this case, a gift of an opportunity to present Jesus and the relevance of his gospel hope was ignored in order to further a pseudo-political agenda. To hang on to Christianity for social reasons and not because of Jesus is really just to promote cultural Christianity, which is inauthentic (and which I think is what is declining when people say that Christianity is dying).
Should Australians reconsider the relevance of Christianity? You bet – I would love it if more Australians spent time considering the claims of Jesus and how that relates to them.
For an excellent look at the relevance of Jesus to contemporary Australia, see Peter Jensen’s 2005 ABC Boyer Lectures: The Future of Jesus