This Pre-forum seminar addresses the following 7 topics:
1. What Does It Really Mean to Be Worldly?
This session begins by dismantling the trivial versions of what it means to be worldly. The church becomes truly worldly when they forget who they are because they forget who Christ is. This makes us lose our distinctive character so we blend in and become enculturated.
2. What in the World is the World?
We become worldly through the mechanism of what the New Testament calls ‘the world’. Made up of a blend of cultural values, these function as pretensions that make us drift from the knowledge of God. When the church succumbs to the seduction of these cultural values, key aspects of our spiritual life become disordered.
3. Living in a Disordered Trust: the Egoism Trap
This session will examine Egoism as a cultural value that promotes humans to the highest place and how this has infected the modern church. To overcome this aspect of our worldliness, we must recover the knowledge of Christ’s supreme glory.
4. Existing in a Disordered Vision: the Influence of Naturalism
Naturalism is a cultural value operating in a closed universe perspective that shuts out the supernatural. This session will examine how the contemporary church’s accommodation has resulted in a loss of spiritual vitality.
5. Desiring with a Disordered Affection: the Seduction of Hedonism
Hedonism encourages us to live by our appetites alone with the promise that this is the way to achieve the pleasure God made us for. The church’s enculturation means we have forgotten that Christ is our supreme good.
6. The Pressure of a Disordered Allegiance: the Coercion of Politicism
This session examines how the new moral order in the political sphere is compromising Christians on both sides of the culture wars. As political pressure increases, the church must recover its commitment to Christ’s absolute authority and Lordship.
7. Where Do We Go from Here?
The way out of worldliness is to see and know Christ for who he really is. If the church is to recover a radical Christlike distinctiveness it will involve both reformation and revival. This session considers what this will look like in today’s church.