On the Danger of Overacculturation

On Sunday, I quoted from Walker’s Percy’s collection of non-fiction essays entitled, Signposts in a Strange Land. Some of you appreciated the quote so much that you asked if I’d be willing to post it online. As you requested, the quote is below.

“One cannot fail to be aware of the manifold calls for change, from both within and from without the Church, a change or modification of this or that doctrine, this or that discipline. I have not intention of addressing any of the current matters at issue, of which I am sure you are more knowledgeable than I. The Church can indeed change, has changed, and might now or in the future change in it’s encounter with a particular culture, my own included. But I need not warn you, I am sure, of the dangers of overacculturation. We know what happened to some Protestant denominations who are attuned to the opinion polls, so to speak, and trim their sails accordingly as the winds of culture shift. Instead of serving as the yeast which leavens the cultural lump, they tend to disappear into the culture. But by remaining faithful to it original commission, by serving its people in love, especially the poor, the lonely, and the dispossessed, and by not surrendering its doctrinal steadfastness, the very contradiction of culture by which it serves as a sign, surely serves the culture best.”–Walker Percy

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