Commenting on the decline of the mainline, Kevin DeYoung suggests their “Oh, please, approve of me” message makes a poor substitute for the gospel.
Well I agree that can’t make a difference in the world if you’re no different from the world. But the obvious question for me is: is that what he thinks church contextualisation is? Is it just glorified approval seeking?
I say no, but I would support that by arguing that there are two sides to church contextualisation: that of being in the world, but not of the world. The “Oh, please, approve of me” message is what happens when you only take notice of the first half of that Jesus equation and forget the second. What mainline churches are doing when they chase after approval for approval’s sake is not genuine contextualisation.