Thursday, June 17, 2010

Robert Barron on the Mission of the Church

This absolutely excellent seven-minute video shows Fr. Robert Barron talking about the mission of the church and its relationship to culture. He begins by reflecting on the empty churches of Europe symbolizing the decline of Christianity on that continent and goes on to think about the question of what we do in such a situation.

Toward the end he says something very profound. He says that when the Church has the opportunity to shape the culture it should do so and when it is persecuted it needs to stand firm. But in both situations the basic task of the Church is to be a witness to Jesus Christ and the good news is that it is possible for the Church to be a witness when it is is standing over against the culture and also when it is shaping and building the culture. The Church's mission is constant although the degree of receptivity in the culture continually fluctuates.

I have never heard a better short summary of the relationship between the Church and Culture. Listen to it; it will be a rich reward for a seven minute investment of your time.

HT - David Fitch

1 comment:

David said...

Amen to that!

I was very impressed with Phil Ziegler's book on Wolf Krotke entitled "Doing Theology when God is Forgotten". In it he speaks about Krotke in the old GDR amid a situation of 'Gottesvergessenheit' which he translated as 'practical atheism' the kind of indifference Fr Barron was speaking about. In it Ziegler looks at the way Krotke's focus on the utter concrete universality of Christ confronted this. Like Barron I think it spoke to the question of theological method, and more, how to be the Church, in today's Europe (and Canada, perhaps, too!). Cultures 'wax and wane' as Barron says but the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen remains the same. I like that :)