Friday, 4 January 2008

This Week's Poll 4/1/08

If you want to do more than just click comment on this post.

Last week's poll: When describing Christians the labels conservative, evangelical, radical and liberal are completely past their sell by date. 14 votes, 7 agree, 7 disagree. One more vote, I vote "disagree".


Catriona said...

Will you define 'monocultural' for me? I find it hard to conceive of a definition that allows for an organisation that consists of more than one person (if I'm very pedantic) though maybe that'd be a micromonoculture. Whilst lots of "churches I've known" are racially and/or socially-economically virtually monocultural there is still some diversity. I think I need to be clearer what I'm voting on so that I can vote intelligently (well, the nearest I ever manage anyway ;-))

Glen Marshall said...

Technically I think one person would be an idioculture.

What I have in mind is the old and infamous church growth principle of Donald McGavran known as the homogeneous unit principle. This, an observation not a prescription, points out that, other things being equal, churches of the same kind of people tend to grow faster than heterogeneous churches. The theory being, among other things, that people prefer to become Xns without crossing unnecessary cultural barriers.

Another way of thinking about it is in terms of the tension between on the one hand the kingdom principle that the gospel is about breaking down barriers, reconciliation, all being one in Christ etc. and on the other hand the entirely laudable, incarnational, principle that churches ought to be appropriately inculturated amongst whatever people group one in which they are being planted. [Do I get a prize for writing a really long sentence?]

This doesn't answer your question because of course, as you point out, there are many indexes by which to measure how culturally monochrome a particular group of people is. [Do I lose my earlier prize for ending a sentence with a preposition?] If you don't mind I'll resist attempting a definition. Think of youth churches, churches that comprise members of just one African tribal/ethinic group, solidly middle class churches and you'll be getting pretty close to what I have in mind.

I have a problem though, how can I tell just how intelligent your click will be? A bit like trying to work out whatever possesses people to put an X by the Tory candidate!

Glen Marshall said...

Please ignore - just a technical test

Catriona said...

Thanks Glen.

Yes, you definitely win a prize for writing a really long sentence, and although I don't know what that prize might be, I'm fairly sure it is not negated by ending a sentence in a manner up with which one should not put.

How will you know my click is more intelligent than might otherwise have been the case - could it have been less so?

I think I now feel the answer is probably that the expression ought to be a contradiction but probably isn't if church is understood as local congregations. If I meant big 'C' church then the diversity makes the oontradiction self-evident. I will therefore vote on the assumption of local churches as the referent.