Month: June 2002

The Emptiness of Modern Culture

The other day while I sat in another pastor’s study waiting on the weather to clear so I could begin my flight back to San Antonio, my eyes fell on a book entitled “The Secular Squeeze”, by John F. Alexander. In his opening sentence he made an interesting observation. “In the 1660s, Rembrandt painted himself helping crucify Jesus. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol painted Campbell soup cans. The change reflects the curious emptiness of modern culture.”

It is a fact that our culture is changing. This is reflected in the changing forms or worship styles we see in our churches. In the secular world we have seen what some call “the dumbing down of America.” Since the 1960s education in America has been on the skids. Standards have been lowered and the overall bar for excellence across the board has been lowered. Alexander, in his book, “The Secular Squeeze” puts it this way: “We have gone from the depths of God to the shallowness of technology. We no longer have the great artists that paint The Christ, we paint Campbell soup cans.” Our culture is enamored with sports, music, and movies (and/or any kind of videos). Thinking has become a real effort. I wonder if some of the things we see in our worship forms are a result of the “dumbing down of America,” or a loss of the Christian depth in a shallow world.

The proverb writer has given up some great advise in these changing times. Proverbs 4:20-23 states: “My son, given attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for our of it spring the issues of life.