In May I attended the Catalyst conference and was amazed that while the speakers and purveyors of the conference championed creativity, what they were actually doing was mimicking cultures that typically resides outside of church culture. I blogged on my thoughts here: Catalysts and Cultural Creation.
There is value in mimicking in order to reach those immersed in the surrounding culture but we do need to be clear on one point – this is cultural imitation, not creation.
There is great bemoaning of the degeneration of American culture within evangelical churches. But the solution is not to create a Christian sub-culture where a Christian can see movies created by churches, purchase cheesy art at Lifeway, play in our own sports leagues, or listen to our own radio stations.
Instead, if we want to see change in culture, we must create new cultural artifacts.
Andy Crouch, in his book Culture Making, explains, “We talk about culture as if it were primarily a set of ideas when it is primarily a set of tangible goods” (Crouch, Culture Making, 10).
Cultural change, then, is to create new cultural goods such as books, blogs, movies, music, art, humor, buildings, et cetera and as one is doing so, insert Christian themes and virtues.
Uniquely Christian themes include redemption, resurrection, beauty, the fall and restoration (et cetera). Uniquely Christian virtues include forgiveness, confession, kindness, patience, and self-sacrifice (et cetera).
Again, to influence American culture is to create cultural goods relevant to as many Americans as possible – not merely a Christian sub-culture.
I write all this (again) to explain my Old Year’s Resolution – to confess that I do not engage in cultural creation as frequently as I should.
In other words, I took a break from blogging, while rehabbing from knee surgery, and now as an Old Year’s Resolution, I am committing to start again as weekly as possible.
The goal of my blog is to think deeply and particularly Christianly about current issues. Let me ask you to join me in the journey.
Currently, I am attempting to think deeply on stewardship of the earth. Look for a future blog post entitled, “Ent Hugging”.