First, a few pesky details from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
Relevant: Having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand.
Clear: 5. Free from impediment, obstruction, or hindrance
Okay, given these definitions, can we agree that there is NOTHING we can do to make the gospel relevant. The gospel IS relevant because it has a bearing on the matter at hand. That matter is that humans have chosen to separate themselve from God by worshiping themselves instead of worshiping him. There is nothing we can do in ourselves that will remedy the matter. The gospel--that Jesus came in flesh, died, was buried, rose, ascended, and is coming again--is the only solution to that situation. The gospel is ultimately relevant.
On the other hand, too often it is not clear. We crud it up with fancy words, fake rules, easy believism, and a bunch of other stuff. It really is quite simple: believe in Jesus and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). In other words, stop trusting your own resources to get yourself out of the mess, stop worshiping your own marvelous self, and decide once and for all to trust and follow Jesus.
What we need to do is make that clear. There is a place for the specialized language of theology--but those places are rare. Most places need plain language, speaking the truth in ways that people can hear.
GIVING UP ON RELEVANT CHURCH--ponderings on Bolger
Tag(s): relevant church