Friday, December 10


I read an article recently that blew my mind. I do not think I had ever heard this said before and it turns a lot of things pop-Christians are saying (and things I have been thinking) upside down.

These are the parts that jumped out at me:
All this talk about engaging culture and being missionaries to your culture is a contradiction of terms, and, I believe, is why evangelicals tend to lose sight of the value of art and creativity and why, now, they’re desperately trying to get it back. But as long as this reclaiming of culture is done under the auspices that we have to somehow engage with culture, it’s a long way off.
So, what’s the problem with this view? It has become so pervasive to talk about culture as some thing that Christians are outside of and that we need to interface with, that we miss the obvious: we are a part of culture. Culture is not a freestanding institution that we plug into, rather it is something we create, shape, and move. Certainly there are things about our culture that we don’t like, but we don’t fix culture by creating subcultures, or by engaging culture, but by living inside culture: making art, writing words, playing songs.
... a lot of evangelical theology (until recently) tended to ignore the two thousand years of church history that preceded it, so too does this movement to bring art into the church forget that art has always been a part of the church. And, that is because the church is a major part of culture.
This is why I bristle at statements like this, found in the mission statement of an online Christian magazine: “We oppose our culture, not out of juvenile nonconformity, but out of acceptance of the fact that Christianity is countercultural to a world populated by the half-hearted, the double-minded, and unbelievers.”
We can’t oppose culture! We are culture!...
... Missionaries go to different cultures and, often, their greatest challenge is fitting in to the culture and thus gaining the trust of its participants. There are countless stories of this attempt to engage other cultures going horribly wrong, and egregious acts being committed in the guise of missions. The same is true when Christians imagine that we must engage our own culture. We become hostile outsiders.
Wow! "We can't oppose culture! We are culture!" This throws "in it, not of it" into a new light for me.

P.S. Mark Driscoll is incidental to this post. I have no beef with the guy.

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