I consume enough cultural commentary from conservative Christians (I'm a bit "c" happy right now) to begin to get a feel for where they are coming from. That includes things like commentary on books, movies (like the ones I've read on Million Dollar Baby), ethics, music, and politics, just to name a few.
When I read most cultural commentary, why do I get the feeling that most Christians are treating the culture as if they are a disobedient son? We talk about them as if they aren't in the room, as if they can't hear us, and we say how worthless and horrible and wrong they are. But we know they hear us and we are glad they hear us. Actually, that's the point.
I think thoughtful people in the culture realize we are doing this to them (like Green Day in their newest CD, American Idiot). And they are saying, "Hey, I'm right here! Stop talking about us as if we aren't in the room. I'm worth something. I have feelings. This is what life is like for me. Stop looking down your nose at us as the morally superior and smug know-it-all's and try to see the world from my perspective."
In some respect, isn't that what it means for us to be incarnational? To stand in their shoes? We don't read about what it means to be a sinner so we can point our fingers at the world and say, "Ha! Sinner!" We learn about sin in order to better explain grace and love and joy and peace and hope. I don't find many conservative Christian cultural commentators who think and talk like that. I don't think the world reads the things our commentators write and say like the woman at the well, "Listen to this guy who knows me." Maybe they think, "Don't listen to this guy. He doesn't know me as well as he thinks he does, and he doesn't think much of me."
God help us, so that when we meet the woman at the well we will tell her about the Savior with compassionate words seasoned with grace instead of leaving quietly and quickly to write our articles about a culture engaged in sex outside of marriage and divorce.