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The Fine Line: Re-Envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture
     

The Fine Line: Re-Envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture

by Kary Oberbrunner
 
Christ-followers are supposed to be the most liberated people ever to walk the face of the earth-with a message powerful enough to cause the dead to rise and the blind to see. We're supposed to have God living inside of us. We're supposed to know how to be in the world but not of it.

Overview

Christ-followers are supposed to be the most liberated people ever to walk the face of the earth-with a message powerful enough to cause the dead to rise and the blind to see. We're supposed to have God living inside of us. We're supposed to know how to be in the world but not of it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310285458
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt


The Fine Line

Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture



By Kary Oberbrunner
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008

Kary Oberbrunner
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-310-28545-8



Chapter One WALKING THE LINE

Ask anyone who's single: there's a fine line between friendly and flirtatious.

Ask any athlete: there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Ask any Christ-follower: there's a fine line between being in the world and being of the world.

The danger of walking the line is that we may accidentally cross it - wherever the line is. This fear often makes us shrink back and fall prey to the other extreme and become, in the case of the single, shy; the athlete, timid; and the believer, irrelevant.

Then what?

People miss out on having healthy friendships. Fans miss out on celebrating victories with their team. And the world misses out on seeing the kingdom of God on earth.

Discovering this fine line is difficult but not impossible. All who follow Jesus must wrestle with this question and emerge with some kind of answer. This question of relevance, as author and journalist Michael Joseph Gross put it, is "the most basic ethical question of the Christian faith."

I've seen enough of the next generation leaving the church. According to some estimates, 58 percent of young adults who attended church at eighteen no longer attend by age twenty-nine. This number accounts for more than eight million twentysomethings who are simply "missing in action."

Why are so many from this generation voting on spiritual matters with their absence?

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there is little difference between the attitudes and actions of believers and unbelievers. Rather than drawing people to Christ, many Christians are pushing people away because of the disconnection between what we say and how we live.

That cannot continue.

Christ-followers are supposed to be the most liberated, grace-filled people on earth. We're supposed to have what people want - a message so powerful it will cause the dead to rise and the blind to see. We're supposed to have the living God living inside us. We're supposed to know how to live in the world but not be of it.

Most believers I know don't know. Most are either living out of the world or they're of the world. No wonder Christians have so little impact, so little relevance. Now more than ever, we need to understand how to live in the world but not be of it.

And that's exactly what this book will do: help you discover the fine line.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from The Fine Line by Kary Oberbrunner Copyright © 2008 by Kary Oberbrunner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
'Kary calls us to walk a fine line indeed, by becoming neither slaves to, nor haters of, culture. Instead, he calls us to transform our cultures with the good news of the gospel and the Kingdom. The Fine Line will help you think more biblically about the balance between contending (Jude 3) and contextualizing (1 Cor. 9:22-23).' — Ed Stetzer, Author, Breaking the Missional Code, Comeback Churches, Planting Missional Churches, etc.

'The world needs Christians who are both culturally relevant and culturally peculiar. The Fine Line stirs up the critical question of what it means to have a faith that is in touch with the world we live in and yet maintains the distinctiveness of the counter-culture of Christ. We need a Church of culturally relevant radical nonconformists who are part of transforming the patterns of this world to align with the patterns of the upside-down kingdom of God.' — Shane Claiborne, Author, Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President

'It's not often that a book addressing issues of cultural relevancy for the church can do it in a way that inspires hope. I am SO glad I read this book, and am already using many of the ideas in it to help our church become the kind of vibrant community of Christ followers that impacts and attracts those both inside and outside its walls.
The questions in this book are both fundamental and profound, and every church in America needs to wrestle with them, to wake us up from our 'slumber of irrelevance.'' — Nancy Ortberg, Author, Looking for God, and Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

'Kary Oberbrunner makes a helpful and hopeful contribution to an age-old spiritual paradox, calling Jesus-followers to accountability and authenticity in our relationship to the world around us. — Reggie Mc Neal, Author, The Present Future, Get a Life, A Work of Heart, Practicing Greatness, etc.

'Kary does a great job at presenting a balanced, thoughtful, and yet challenging case for Christians to re-engage and become culture creators.' — Mike Foster, President of Ethur, Founder of Junky Car Club, Author of Questions you can't ask mama, Deadly Vipers

'Kary writes with an honest vulnerability that compels an equally honest and vulnerable look into your life. You'll find yourself wrestling with questions of relevance related to your ministry, and you won't escape the illumination of your internal motives as you interact with God and people on a day-to-day basis.' — Mark Waltz, Pastor, Granger Community Church, Author of First Impressions and Lasting Impression

'I'm looking forward to the release of The Fine Line and the impact that is going to make for this generation, a very thoughtful, well-written and important book for our time.' — Dave Ferguson, Lead Pastor and Spiritual Entrepreneur of Community Christians Church

'This book has a lot to say to us as Christians, but I would contend it has a lot to say to us as preachers. How do we help people navigate the complexity of being 'in the world but not of it?' How can we illustrate that complexity in our own preaching—in our weekly opportunity to speak of culture, speak to culture, speak into culture, speak of a new, transformed culture, or even, as Andy Crouch says, speak in such a way that we create culture? There's a lot here to explore and a lot here to pass on to fellow ministers, fellow staff members, elders, and a congregation as a whole.' — Preaching Today

Meet the Author

Kary Oberbrunner, MDiv, DMin, founded Redeem the Day, a movement connecting people to a process that ignites their souls on fire. Author of The Fine Line, Called, and The Journey Towards Relevance, Kary serves as a pastor at Grace Church in Ohio. He and his soul mate, Kelly, have three kids. In his free time he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and playing disc golf.

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