I tend to agree with Sandra's comments:
There is another element to this dialogue that needs to be brought to the table. That is that darkness hates the light, and wants no part of it. So those who are excellenct [sic] in what they do, and boldly make Christ the center of it, will be coldly turned aside. I don't know exactly how this fits into the discussion. But we have to be careful about thinking that if we just play our cards right (i.e., attractive marketing), the world will readily receive the Gospel since it is relevant, surrounded by excellent art, philosophy, etc.
It's never a matter of making the Gospel relevant. The Gospel is relevant. But even if we remove as many barriers to receptivity as possible, it is still the Gospel. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (I Cor. 1:18)
The cold, hard truth is that Jesus expected the world to hate us because of our love for Him. They hated Him first (John 15:18-19). (emphasis mine)
I like Amy's point, too, that Christians must be salt and light to give the word "Christian" any meaning at all; to be seen as separate from the world, well, there must be an actual separation. Seems like an obvious point, but too many professing Christians say that 'Christians can live like the world--it's okay!' for me to believe that it's as obvious as it should be. The true way is narrow; it is the path to destruction that is broad. Be not deceived.
As for Cal's comments, and all the rest of the discussion about that subject, I am a little at a loss. I believe that Christians should listen for the Lord's Spirit speaking to them; I believe we should study the Word diligently to show ourselves approved. We already know from the Word that whatever we do, we should do as unto the Lord. But as for the culture (no tomatoes, please!), I do not believe we will transform it. We must seek out those who have ears to hear the gospel, preaching in and out of season so that those who have not heard may hear and believe.
To think that we will change the entire culture flies in the face of what the Word says about the end times. HOWEVER, I do believe we should stive to be salt and light, individually and collectively, wherever we are. But keep watch, and don't be surprised when the days get darker. That's not a call to inertia--it's a call to love Jesus and live the Life more and more "as we see the Day approaching" (Heb 10:24-25).
2 Tim 3:1-5
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.