This weekend the wife and I are in the area of Pittsburgh, PA. We haven’t had a private get-away for several years now, and this came up as a good weekend to relax. So we went to some thrift and antique shops. Got a few trinkets for our sons, but nothing for ourselves. The time away was adequate in itself.
This afternoon we went down into Pittsburgh, on Penn, and walked through the market. I look at this and wonder if it is the agora of old. There are people. Lots of people. There are vendors on the street. Sometimes it seems almost as many of them as shoppers. But unlike the old world, there are no elders as sources of wisdom. No gate to the city. Nothing but commerce. It’s not even as rich as Ephesus, where the vendors at least invested in their pagan religions. The hedonists of today live for the moment.
What wisdom did exist in the past seems to have been turned into an historical reference. Of course the church still operates.
A wedding was in process as we walked past and I shot these photos.
But with all the activity outside the church, this or any other church just sits as a building, waiting for people to come in. Who aren’t coming in.
Now, like a television show, we flash back two weeks. When the Evangelical Free Church national conference was being held in Columbus we hosted. a pastor and his wife from a small town in Nebraska. It was a joy to have them. He was a Dallas grad from the early 60s, back when TEDS was still a quite young institution. We discussed, but only briefly and I wish we could have spend more time on it, the change of rhetoric in evangelicalism today.
We call it outreach. We talk about the unchurched. We no longer call it evangelism. We no longer refer to the unsaved or the lost. It appears that sociological description has become our prescription. It is any wonder that the agora is filled with people while the church is constantly becoming emptier and emptier?
(For those who care, all pics were shot with a Pentax K100D and the SMC Pentax-FA 28-200.)