Date of Award

Spring 2020

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Theology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Brett Hoover

Abstract

The pastoral problem being addressed has to do with the culture of consumerism and individualism that have influenced the culture of the Church. Within Western society, the “ism” culture, consisting of factors such as: hedonism, consumerism, materialism, secularism, relativism and individualism, has become very prominent. Christians often operate no differently than non-Christians, and this is problematic since Christians are called to be salt for the earth and light for the world (Matthew 5:13-16), a people set apart. In John 15:19, we are told that we were not made to be of this world, so we need to stop being influenced by the culture and instead allow the beauty of the Christian faith to influence the world. What is presented here is not just a hope to overcome consumerism and individualism, but an entire revamping of what it means to be Christian. It suggests the need for a culture change, which if Christians and church leadership focus on, has the power to solve other pastoral and ethical issues as well. Such a cultural change will lead to vibrancy among believers and will attract more people to the faith, as well.

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