about the network...
The Gospel and Our Culture. A network to provide useful research regarding the encounter between the gospel and our culture, and to encourage local action for transformation in the life and witness of the church.
The Gospel and Our Culture Network in North America was spawned in the early 1990s by several contextual factors:
- the cultural currents of Western society and ethnic tradition that have shaped how we live in North America.
- the rapid changes taking place as we move from a "modern" to "postmodern" form of society.
- the growing un-ease of the church as it experiences a dislocation from its prior places of importance.
The aim is to explore what these things mean, under the light of the gospel, for the life and witness of the church.
What faithful action is required of us in this kind of world? The question compels three kinds of activity which give shape to the missionary way the church is called to live:
- Social and cultural analysis. What kind of setting are we in and how do we understand its importance in light of God's mission in the world?
- Biblical and theological reflection. As we take this setting seriously, how are we ourselves faced with the meaning of the gospel in new ways?
- Vision for the church and its mission. What kind of church do we need to be to show what it means to believe the gospel, and to live and speak as though it is true?
The network offers companionship for Christian leaders and groups eager to work together with others who share similar concerns. It brings together people from a wide spectrum of churches -- from Mennonite to Roman Catholic, from Anglican to Southern Baptist -- and a range of local ministry settings.
- The network puts theological educators and ministry practitioners into fruitful contact with each other so that effective strategy and sound theory may be wedded together.
- The network provides mutual encouragement between denominational administrators and local congregational leaders to discover models of the church capable of sustaining a living and faithful witness to the gospel in our contemporary world.
- The network encourages the formation of local groups in which pastoral and lay leaders of congregations work together to develop practical responses to contemporary challenges.
- The network makes available resources and materials to facilitate vision and change in the missional life of the church.
The Gospel and Our Culture Network exists to give careful attention to the interaction between culture, gospel and church. It arises from the conviction that genuine renewal in the life and witness of the church comes only with a fresh encounter of the gospel within our culture. The network focuses its activities, therefore, on the cultural research, theological reflection and church renewal necessary for the recovery of the church's missionary identity. The network pursues these issues in a variety of ways:
- engaging in constructive dialogue
- promoting collaborative research
- developing resources for local groups
- encouraging efforts toward renewal
- fostering a variety of partnerships