Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Culture & Christianity

Jonathan Dodson @ deals with the controversial topic of Christianity interacting with the culture. He considers:

Are We Critical or Theological Enough?

He offers six ways to redemptively engage culture:

1. Engage culture prayerfully. (1 Thess. 5:17). (Js. 1:17).

(1 Cor. 2:10)

2. Engage culture carefully. (Js. 1:19).

3. Engage culture biblically-theologically.

4. Engage culture redemptively.

5. Engage culture humbly.

6. Engage culture selectively.

He then concludes by summarizing the six ways:

"When engaging culture prayerfully, we depend on the wisdom that comes from the Spirit who searches out all cultures, who can enable us to recognize and rejoice in what is true, beautiful and good, and reject or redeem what is false, ugly and immoral. As a result, engaging culture can become an act of communion with God.

Relying on the wisdom of the Spirit will also mean careful investigation of cultural issues, being critical of our own biases while maintaining an open ear to the arguments of others. However, we're not left to navigate the turbulent waters of our culture with prayer and reason. God has given us his Word, a divine and authoritative Text from which we can glean wisdom and theological principles to engage culture.

When wrestling with issues, we must be careful to bring questions, not assumptions, from our culture to the Word, following a pattern of Text-Theology-Culture. This biblical-theological engagement with culture should always lead to redemptive action, restoring what is ugly and immoral from our position as accepted children of God, citizens of Zion. In turn, we can engage culture humbly and selectively, recognizing our limitations and rejoicing in our unique opportunities to engage the world around us.

Finally, try to practice these six ways of engaging culture, not just as an individual but in community. To put a spin on Rufus Wainwright's words: Only when the Church in this country becomes obsessed with glorifying God in all things, will we critically and redemptively engage our culture on all kinds of subjects".

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