More than 60 of us from Evening Church recently spent a hot weekend in Tahmoor, between Campbelltown and Mittagong, for our 2017 Weekend Away. It was a great chance to get to know people in a more relaxed and less time-pressured setting—eating, swimming, and digging into the scriptures together.
I gave three talks on Christ and Culture, the first of which was an intro session on five ways Christ and culture have been said to relate:
- Christ against culture
- The Christ of culture
- Christ above culture
- Christ and culture in paradox
- Christ the transformer of culture
While some of these were attractive options and captured aspects of the biblical story, actually none of them fully captures the whole biblical message on Christ and culture.
The remaining talks covered two paradigms found in the Bible which help us to relate to human cultures as the children of God. First: Freedom and Love from 1 Corinthians 10, and the idea that our freedom is to be controlled by love. Second: the fact that the time we live in is a Short Stay at the End of the World from 1 and 2 Peter, and that the coming kingdom of God should shape how we view our time and opportunities.
In addition to this, we broke into smaller groups to be confronted by the biblical data on our topic, and to draw some conclusions about what this means for us in daily life.
Over the two days, Cameron Hyslop also hosted some interviews with Evening Church members which was a good way to get to know both new and established people at Evening Church. A team of musos led us in singing praise to God. And Dave Bell and Jon Saunders, hosted a trivia night full of comedy and challenges.
The weekend was a reminder of God’s goodness in giving us each other. It was both encouraging and joyful to have fellowship with other members of Christ’s body around the Lord Jesus, whom we serve in the midst of human cultures.