When The Room Is The Elephant

How can the church assert the truth of the gospel—an exclusive truth which makes demands in the present because of promises which will be fulfilled only in the future—in a world predicated on consumer options, entertainment, and instant gratification? Just a brief glance at the advertising for the most numerically successful and conservative evangelical conferences indicates the importance of the aesthetics of this present age in marketing, even for a serious, exclusive faith. Can we use such methods and still claim that something crucial has not already been conceded at the outset? To answer, “Well, if we don’t do this, if we don’t have the slick, attractive marketing, the cool branding, and the celebrities of the evangelical subculture, then nobody will come”—something I have heard many times—makes perfect sense. But the fact that it makes perfect sense—that, yes, we know that such an approach is culturally wise and necessary—is what is so significant, for it indicates that we are all now trapped inside the stately pleasure dome.

Carl Trueman

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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