Thursday, October 13, 2011

Approaching Culture

Crouch makes the case that Christians tend to adopt one style of engagement with the broader culture: condemning, critiquing, copying or consuming. Instead of adopting one style, Crouch says that "each of these responses to culture is, at certain times and with specific cultural goods, a necessary gesture" (Culture Making, p. 90). What Crouch is arguing for here is some adaptability regarding how Christians approach various cultural artifacts.

Some examples:

Cultural artifacts to be condemned: some examples, the global sex trade, the wide-ranging cultural phenomenon of Nazism, pornography, exploitation and enslavement of workers, exposure and murder of vulnerable children from conception on, industrialization that has no concern for the environment.

Cultural artifacts to be critiqued: the fine arts, one example filmmaking.

Cultural artifacts to be consumed: a pot of tea or loaf of bread.

Cultural artifacts to be copied: borrowing from some of the best of mainstream culture, even musicians from Bach to Wesley took well-known tunes and reworked them for church use. Here we learn from "the lesson of Pentecost that every human language, every human cultural form, is capable of bearing the good news" (p. 93).

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