on being relevant

has it gotten us in trouble?  I wonder.   Dan linked to an interesting article over at Christianity Today talking about the problem of the Crystal Cathedral and its founder Robert Schuller.  Here is part of the asessment:

Some are tempted to hit the man while he is down, but this is unwise.  Robert Schuller is not the problem—contemporary evangelicalism is. Schuller was only leading the parade of those who believe they are responsible for making the gospel relevant. The lesson is not that Schuller got it wrong or that his theology is out-of-date; it is not that we just need to find a better, more current point of cultural contact. The lesson is that our attempts to find and exploit a point of cultural contact inevitably end in bankruptcy.

So in a nutshell – what I am calling “the addiction to the need to be relevant” lead to the demise of the Crystal Cathedral?  This is a fascinating assertion indeed – one many of the rest of us would do well to pay attention to.

I am in full agreement with my friend Lionel who wrote on my FB page:

What is relevant is that Jesus has redeemed us by hanging on a bloody cross. If you are bored with that, you are bored with the metanarrative of the Scriptures.

I think think the problem isn’t the issue of relevancy, the gospel is always relevant and relevant across cultures – the issue is contextualization – how do we communicate the ever relevant gospel in an understandable way – in language people will understand?  To me that is more the issue and one we as Christians need to get back on track with.