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It is the goal of this project to create increased awareness in the members of St.Stephen’s United Church, Oshawa, Ontario of the link between Gospel and culture. This link is presented in a Canadian mainline Protestant theology and Postmodern, suburban context. Evangelism and mission are placed within this context as a means to the continuing revelation of God’s narrative in the world as the congregation translates the truth of the Gospel from the beliefs, values and behaviours of popular culture. Part One will describe the context of St. Stephen’s United Church in Oshawa, Ontario and the problem of outreach in the church. The examination of the link between gospel and culture in Chapter 1 will address this problem of outreach in the Post-Christendom, postmodern context of St. Stephen’s. Chapter 2 will address the mission challenge that St. Stephen’s is not currently facing. This chapter will also discuss how the nature of culture is changing.
Part Two will consider the biblical foundations for adapting the gospel to a given culture. Chapter 3 considers a re-engagement with the biblical narratives, with the goal in mind to help the people of St. Stephen’s learn to read them afresh for non-believers. Chapter 4 reflects upon the way of life in which most Christians were raised, which was a Christendom-influenced, modern culture. This chapter also explains how the Church today finds itself in a land that has suddenly become very strange.
Part Three presents the strategy for St. Stephen’s: that the congregation might view itself as distinguished from the world but at the same time sent into the world that is loved by God. Chapter 5 looks at which changes to take seriously and what the response of church leadership should be. Chapter 6 will recommend a strategy that does not go back to “the good old days” of the church, but challenges St. Stephen’s to patiently and faithfully identify the themes that God has already prepared in the culture. The final chapter, Chapter 7, will attempt to discern the movement of God’s Holy Spirit and discuss how to evaluate the impact of popular culture on the congregation.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, DMin
Material is subject to copyright.
Boughner, J. Scott, "A Strategy for Taking Popular Culture Captive to Communicate the Gospel at St. Stephen’s United Church" (2008). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 1.