Innovation Without Compromise

In his book Bowling Alone, Harvard professor Robert Putnam notes the increasing division of American culture between “two groups — the devoutly observant and the entirely unchurched” (p. 75).
This social trend has great importance for anyone seeking to share the gospel.
Earlier generations enjoyed a ready pool of prospective converts, individuals with some measure of faith who had not reached a point of commitment to any particular religion. People today, however, tend to be either completely irreligious or have already made a commitment to a particular religious group.
This change in our culture renders old methods of evangelism less effective and calls the church to innovate in an attempt both to reach the irreligious and to challenge those committed to competing religious systems.
The Community Church Movement has been promoted as an attempt to innovatively engage the irreligious population. This attempt, however, has not succeeded in challenging the secular world to become more religious. On the contrary, this consumer-driven approach has led Christians to become more secular.
This movement, further, has abandoned competition with rival religious groups. The Community Church Movement does not refute error; it accommodates error.
In contrast to the eviscerated shell of compromise, the Lord’s church must look for ways to teach the truth more assertively. Our irreligious neighbors must be challenged to leave their unbelief. Our friends in other religious groups must be challenged to consider the alternative of New Testament Christianity.
We must adjust our methods of presentation to address the times in which we live. The adjustment needed today, however, is conviction not compromise.

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