Out With the Old and In with the New?

I love when people re-purpose things.  I have a friend that brilliantly found an couple old ladders and made a vintage-looking bookshelf.  For us, mostly, this kind of creativity is aspirational.  We have a set of old windows sitting in the garage that my wife grabbed from the side of the road once.  Taking something old and making a new, relevant purpose for it is quite an art.

In religion in general, and Christianity in particular, we struggle with finding the right balance between the old and the new.  There’s an array of perspectives:

  1. Stake our entire identity in the old; the new is a threat.
  2. Be open to the new; but keep the old methods and expressions.
  3. Honor the spirit and general ethos of the old; but methods and expressions must be new.
  4. The old is gone; everything must be new and relevant.
  5. Religion is relative.

As a Christian in a main-line tradition (first time I actually identified myself that way!), traditions are important but the message needs to hit the ears of the people in the day.  So  I would argue a balanced approach, but what does that look like?  The answer is likely ever evolving for you, so I would invite you to challenge yourself with these questions: a) how can the old keep you accountable so that you’re not completely a pawn of the culture; and b) how can your faith be applied in a real, tangible way?


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