4 God and Popular Culture neighbors think? Church board members (PCMs) asked questions like: Does God make sense? Is the Bible relevant? What would Luther say? Seekers (SYiAs) asked questions like: How do I experience miracles? How can I associate with contemporary heroes of faith? What would Jesus do? Concerning Religious Leadership Churchy people asked: Does he care about me, honor our privileged status, and quote the right people? Church board members asked: Is he authorized to preach, politically correct, and defer to dead prophets? Seek- ers asked: Is he or she associated with miracles, live an authentic spir- itual life, and speak from personal experiences of life struggle and spiritual victory? In other words, there has been a marked evolution in exactly what seekers are seeking and what questions seekers are asking. I think their search resonates with Tillich’s anticipation of the key questions for post- Christendom and the post-secular world. There are four: 1. How can I experience the immediacy and immensity of God in my struggle in life? In other words, how can I not only connect with God but also be captured by God—without the mediation of any supposedly sacred properties, sacred persons, sacred programs, or sacred budgets—just me and God, face to face, heart to heart, gut instinct meets God above all gods?6 2. How can I participate in Spirit that frees me from the trap of “technical rea- son”? In other words, how can I intuit the hidden import that simultaneously employs and shatters all cultural forms to express the depth and power of being?7 How can I work through and then transcend the constraints of reason, dogma, and context to know the truth?8 3. How can I experience the power of God to alter or reshape my lifestyle? In other words, how can I enjoy a “spiritual presence” that overcomes the ambi- guities of daily living and gives me the courage to make choices that impact intimate relationships, career, health, mobility, economy, and context?9 4. How can I discern my personal destiny? In other words, how can I recognize myself as part of God’s reconciling mission? How can I take my place in human history and be significant in a universal, particular, and teleological sense?10 The critical insight is that the questions asked by dilettantish churchy members and by rationally reserved church boards are simply not the questions being asked by seekers today. The former are in pursuit of sup- posedly good worship, right doctrine, and politically correct ideology. The latter are searching for intimacy with God, freedom from addiction, cour- age to act, and hope that endures the next hurricane.
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