(Living Church) The C3 Conference in Tennessee—Engagement over Relevance

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For centuries the words Church and culture were all but synonymous. This close linkage posted challenges for both culture and Church, but it gave artists the opportunity to ply their craft with the patronage of the Church, and to express their faith through their art. With the collapse of Christendom, these connections have frayed or broken. The disconnect has become so pervasive that many outside the Church, while not hostile, are unconcerned with faith in general or Christianity in particular. The Church has more recently wrestled the dragon of relevance: Do Christians still have anything to offer culture?

With its new St. George’s Institute of Church and Cultural Life, St. George’s Church, Nashville, aims to slay the dragon of relevance by equipping Christians to engage with culture in meaningful and lasting ways. The institute sponsored its first conference, “C3: Christ, Church and Culture,” Feb. 24-26 in Nashville. Far from being another in a long line of Christian quests for relevance, the conference explored deeper questions surrounding the interface of culture and faith.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Culture-WatchArtReligion & Culture

Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Thanks for linking this.  Good story and thoughtful points brought out.

The point about mainline kids being less likely than non-religious to come to faith was telling.  I think we can react angrily, blaming this or that faction for it, or we can react more gently, seeing that the mainline traditions all served a “Christendom” model which is passing/has passed. 

As Mike Regele put it, we have a choice between death that is just the end and death that leads to resurrection.  Sounds like the folks in the article are making that latter, better choice.

March 16, 10:32 am | [comment link]
2. Jeff Thimsen wrote:

“...seeing that the mainline traditions all served a “Christendom” model which is passing/has passed.” I assume that you refer to mainline Protestant traditions, as the RC are doing pretty well. Immigration doesn’t count for all of their vitality. I suggest that the mainline Protestant churches’ tradition is still viable, these churches have lost their message and hence their reason for being.

March 16, 6:40 pm | [comment link]
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