Sunday, September 18, 2005
The Church's Way of Speaking (First Things)
According to Robert Wilkin, 'The Church's way of life is being chewed up and spit out by the omnivorous secular society that surrounds us.' In his article The Church's Way of Speaking Wilkin discusses the relationship between the Christian church and culture. He argues that '... the task of handing on the faith is not primarily a question of how "Christ" relates to "culture" but of how the Christian culture is to be sustained and deepened in the face of another culture that is increasingly alien and hostile.' According to Wilkin, secular culture has been allowed to become the 'arbiter' of meaning and, instead of the church defining its own language and culture and presenting itself, as itself, to the public arena, it has adopted the habit of translating its language to that of secular society and losing its identity. He admits that translation is inevitable. However, 'There must be translation into the Lord's style of language, bringing alien language into the orbit of Christian belief and practice and giving it a different meaning.' It's a fascinating, well-articulated article. Although Wilkin obviously comes from a Catholic background, what he says in principle should be of interest to all Christians. Read the whole article here.