As important as it is to be relevant with the gospel to our neighbor we must take care not to mistake attraction or appeal with relevancy. We may find many things in life that are appealing and attractive but that doesn’t meant that they’re edowed with the gospel witness. Nor can we assume that once we open our big white walled mouths about Jesus and people don’t start fleeing that we’re sharing the gospel, cultural spin and cultural slickness doesn’t equal relevancy – at least not the kind of relevancy we should be seeking. Listen to Mark Dever talk about how bringing someone to an understanding of the gospel doesn’t necessarily entail bringing them to like the gospel;

“One part of providing clarity when we share the gospel, sometimes missed by earnest evangelists, is the willingness to offend. Clarity with the claims of Christ certainly will include the translation of the gospel into words that our hearer understands, but it doesn’t necessarily mean translating it into words that our hearer will like. Too often, advocates of relevant evangelism verge over into being advocates of irrelevant non-evangelism. A gospel that  in no way offends the sinner has not been understood.” Mark Dever, The Gospel & Personal Evangelism

Now the flipside of this conversion coinage is that if we find ourselves propelling people away from us like we’ve got a boom strapped to our chest then its likely that we don’t have a clue about being relevant. Or if someone stares off into the distance while we go through our five spiritual laws, eight styles of Christian cartoons, and flip a little box around in our hands, all the while keeping rythm with Jesus Freak playing on our boombox behind us; we’re probably are living in the strange land called Christo-consumer-dom. Along with the rest of the Lord’s Gym, God is golfer, and so on folks.

I think in a brief way above, Dever gets to the guts of the matter in responsible contextualization of the gospel. Be relevant, but don’t be affraid to offend – I would add offending someone is not the goal of evangelism…