Our reality in western, Post-Modern culture is that we have developed a "tin ear" to "religious-speak." Our society is increasingly secular with little or no church experience to use as a touchstone. Yet most churches choose to communicate with languages and worship styles and techniques that were intended to communicate to a generation that knew nothing of laptop computers, the internet, mp3's, terrorism, iPods, or American Idol.
I sense that the Holy Spirit is anxious to move and animate this new generation. It yearns for the Body of Christ to discover ways to effectively communicate the revolutionary power of the Good News with this secular generation...
So the question becomes: Do we expect society to learn the language of religion that has developed over the last century or do we contexualize the Truths of the Gospel in language and culture that reaches them where they are?
Jesus used parables to communicate spiritual truth. Luther conducted the Mass in German. Dr. Tom Christiansen, missionary in Cameroon, translates the Bible into the language and culture of the Gbaya people. In western culture why do we not use the dominant language of the people: pop culture?
In all its banality, pop culture is the pervasive interest, passion and pursuit of our society. We must mine it for its depth and constructive images to communicate the eternal through the temporal. In our worship, in our theology, in our evangelism—a new way of speaking is being nurtured to meet the needs of a world that has a tin ear for "religious-speak" yet yearns for meaning, purpose and spirituality that the Church provides.
Jesus met the people where they were—can we do anything less?