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In a study of Judges that I’m involved in, there are a few lessons that jump out each week - lessons that have stood the test of time from before there were kings in Israel to 21st century New York. These insights make me regularly question my operating assumptions about faith and the world around me.


We see a parade of judges who lead Israel - men and women deeply flawed even as they lead with insight and courage in both civil and military affairs. To a person they experience exhilarating victories coupled with devastating failures in judgement and morality; used mightily by God and also greatly disappointing Him. This seems to frequently happen because they know and embrace the culture more fully than they know and embrace God. See Jephthah’s experience in chapter 11.

The truth is that culture shapes and forms us more powerfully than does the Bible. This is not an absolute truth that it must be so, but a contextual truth in that our circumstances generally make it so. We don’t notice the culture we inhabit any more than fish notice the water they swim in. And yet there are real consequences in how we engage (or don’t engage) our work and communities in redemptive ways.

Our CU New York community groups, mentoring, speaker and social events, and the industry networks coming together - all work toward the purpose of a) understanding our cultural context, and b) working to shape and re-shape it and ourselves in light of the “ought” - what we personally, and the culture broadly, ought to look like in Christ.

Our February salon on fasting, “Fasting: Personal Connection or Connection with God?” was an extraordinary time of exploring the biblical underpinnings of fasting, ancient and modern writers on it, best practices, and its connection to Lent. How we understand the humility and dependence on God that works to make us, rather counter-intuitively, more human and fulfilled. It was a tremendous evening in the lead-up to the Lenten season and Easter.

Many of us are also participating in “The Great Experiment” sponsored by CU Day & Night - a commitment for March 1-10, 2019 to seek God in extraordinary ways to see what wonderful things He will do. You can join thousands of others doing this together during those ten days. 

Finally, please put the CU Cities Conference on your calendar for June 21-22. Two days of speakers on the many ways to be redemptive in the city, identifying new challenges and opportunities to grow in faith, and seeing our work and the city around us more concretely through the lens of faith. James K.A. Smith (You Are What You Love; Desiring the Kingdom) will kick things off the first evening and you won’t want to miss that. Register now - before you forget and have to pay more later.

The conference and various CU New York events are designed to bring clarity to that which shapes us most - the culture around us, or the Bible. The latter course requires intentionality and leads to how we influence and re-shape the world around us - to what God intended the it to be, and to what it will be in the new heavens and new earth.

Grateful for you in this endeavor,

 

Scott Crosby
Ministry Director
Christian Union New York
Christian Union DC


For more information on New York City Christian Union Bible Courses and activities, or resources available to you please contact Scott Crosby.

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