Forum is a place of connection and exchange.
Engaging a diverse community of learner-practitioners across different fields, our goal is to see a huge expansion in the number of churches and leaders who confidently engage their culture with a better story, and who lean into the issues of the day, and offer the hope of salvation to the lost, with the truth of God’s Word.
I could not be more enthusiastic about the work of the Crosslands Forum.
Ancient people — not only the Jews (1 Chron 12:32) but even the pagans (Esther 1:13)—recognized the importance of “knowing the times”, understanding the character of the cultural moment. Christians of course are assured that in God and the gospel we always have a sure foundation for our times—whatever they are (Is 33:6). But that does not mean we do not need to work to understand our particular situation so we know how to communicate and embody the gospel in ways that truly address and engage the people of our day, just as we see the early Christians doing with the people of their day in the book of Acts.
I am just as encouraged by the leadership of the Forum. I consider Dan Strange one of only a handful of leaders who have one foot firmly in the world of research and scholarship and the other foot firmly in relationships with the people of our world and times. —
— Tim Keller, Redeemer City to City
Why Forum? The biblical imperative to engage with culture and other religions
‘If Christians do not articulate how the Bible explains all other stories in terms of its own story and how it provides a positive vision for society, then other stories will step in to explain the Bible in their own terms and provide that vision in its place.‘ (Dr Christopher Watkin)
An urgent need
The need for our churches to be developing members and leaders who have both theological and contextual intelligence to faithfully and fruitfully engage culture, connecting and confronting people with the good news of the gospel, has never been more urgent.
Speed of change
Whilst recognising much faithful, brave and sacrificial Christian witness, there is an immense gulf, in the UK and elsewhere, between where our culture is and how well the church is equipped to deal with it and to speak the gospel of Christ into it. Most pastors and church members are overwhelmed by the complexity and speed of change in the culture around them and struggle to know how to bring the light of the gospel into lives and conversations they find utterly alien and confusing. Many are simply in denial. The temptations to conform and look-like the world, to become a holy huddle and look-in, or angrily to lash-out are strong.
A call to witness
By the power of the Holy Spirit we must resist these temptations. God has placed us at a particular time and in a particular context and we are called to share the truth of the gospel with confidence, clarity and grace wherever we find ourselves, however indifferent or hostile our culture may seem, just as Paul did in Athens in Acts 17.
A shared task
To achieve this level of contextual confidence in our evangelism and our engagement in public discourse, we need an active and intentional collaboration between churches, the academy, training providers, and those in the public square. Whilst there are a number of entities doing some aspects of this theological contextual engagement well, our focus is on building a model that bridges all four of these domains, and where the links between them are close and the feedback loops short and frequent.
We are grateful for collaborations established or in the planning stages with several ministries including CARE, The London Project, the Wilberforce Academy, and Acts29. Find out more about our Partners.