Have you ever been snowbound?
We were one winter in Baltimore. For two days it snowed so hard you could not see the homes across the street. The snow piled up so deep in front of our doors that we could not open them. Everywhere we looked snow was threatening to engulf and submerge us!
Well, OK, it wasn’t quite that bad. But there was a lot of snow, as I recall.
I suspect that some of us feel a little “culture-bound” from time to time. We are inundated with, surrounded by, engulfed in, and crowded by culture, and there seems like no escape!
And, of course, there isn’t. Human beings are creatures of culture. We can’t do without it. But there is certainly some culture, we’ll agree, that we’d like to see a little less of than at present.
Culture is everywhere, and we all use it every day. But some of the culture that presses in upon us is simply not welcome. We wish it weren’t so dirty or scary or goofy or whatever. Some culture is simply crude or crass or crazy.
But we need culture in order to bring fullness to our lives. So what are we to make of all this culture that grates on us, culture we wish would melt away like a spring thaw?
Avoid as much of it as we can, of course, and work to redeem the rest.
Easier said than done, you will say? That’s true. But over the next four weeks John Stonestreet and I hope to provide you some insights to culture and how to engage it that can make your experience of culture more of a joy and less of a drudge, more a way of honoring the Lord and less one of struggling to keep from being tainted.
God has created us to make, use, and enjoy culture. But, like everything else in the life of faith, we need to do so from the perspective of a distinctly Christian worldview. So stick around for the next four weeks of Two-minute Warning, ViewPoint, and Talking Points as we look together at a Biblical approach to understanding, making, and using culture.
Resources for this topic:
Order the book, Culture Making, by Andy Crouch.
Here are some resources to help you gain a better understanding of culture and how to make use of it:
Chuck Colson, “A Christian Consensus on Culture”
Chuck Colson, “Salt in a Decaying Culture: The Need for Renewal”
Chuck Edwards, “Popular Culture: How Should a Christian Respond?”
Janine Langan, “The Culture of Hope & Glory”
David Mills, “Cultural Borderlines”
T. M. Moore, “Culture Woes”
T. M. Moore, “Liberating Pop Culture”
Here are some activities to help get you engage this topic:
- Is your church equipping its members to engage culture from the perspective of a Christian worldview? Talk to some church leaders. Ask them to explain what the church is doing to help us become more effective in our use of culture for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Offer to help wherever you might be needed.
- What principles do you Christian friends employ in making decisions about how to engage contemporary culture? Ask a few of them over for some coffee, then let this question guide the conversation for the evening. Show them this week’s Two-minute Warning.
- Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter
Here’s a conversation starter you can use to get started thinking about this topic with other believers: “It’s obvious that not all culture is ‘good for us.’ But how do we decide? Are there Biblical principles that should direct us in thinking about how we ought to engage with the culture of our day?”