In a first phase culture, the danger is that we would colonize the culture. In a third phase, post-Christian culture, the danger is that we would be colonized by it.
for the third culture is just as evangelistic as the second culture. With its great mission to prohibit anyone from prohibiting, it seeks to propagate its dogma that there should be no dogma. Approaches that are purely based on an attempt at cultural relevance will ultimately fail in the face of the corrosive power of the post-Christian third culture. In the third culture, you can reach levels of blistering hipness, gain position within a key industry, hold an encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture, throw yourself into the great justice causes of the day, and still your belief in the second culture values of faith will see you viewed as beyond the pale.
In light of all these things, we read sobering words from Peter: As obedient children, you must not allow your conduct to be molded by the sinful desires to which you were enslaved when you were still ignorant.
1 Peter 1:14
When we do church these ways we actually participate in the formational force of culture, shaping our people to look like everyone else during the brief time we have with them each week. Additionally we all feel the pull of the culture on us, trying to form us. Many of us have fallen back into old patterns because of these forces.
But in fact the Spirit wants to form us differently
We must counteract the formative forces of culture through formative lifestyle patterns.
Matthew 28:18 (NAS): And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.