The 2K Cultural Mandate

I agree with Aunt Barb, that this is a great read.  A paragraph from the middle has particular relevance for our audience:

[S]ome of my “progressive” Christian friends, … frankly seem to salivate over the prospect that our capitalist culture may be teetering on the brink of collapse. … I can’t share the sense of satisfaction I sense in some of my “prophetic” friends. I believe the first step in culture making is not creating (let alone condemning, critiquing, or consuming) but cultivating: keeping what is already good in culture, good. American Christians, on the right and the left, have been painfully bad at cultivating. We want to jump to “transformation” and “impact” (words generally used on the right) or to “resistance” and “revolution” (favored words of the left). We often seem incapable of seeing ourselves first as gardeners: people whose first cultural calling is to keep good what is, by the common grace of God, already good. A gardener does not pull out weeds because she hates weeds; she pulls out weeds because she loves the garden, and because (hopefully) there are more vegetables or flowers in it than weeds. This kind of love of the garden—loving our broken, beautiful cultures for what they are at their best—is the precondition, I am coming to believe, for any serious cultural creativity or influence. When weeds infest the garden, the gardener does not take the opportunity to decry the corruption of the garden as a whole. She gets patiently, discerningly, to work keeping the garden good.

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7 Responses to The 2K Cultural Mandate

  1. RubeRad says:

    Zrim, have you met my aunt and uncle yet? They recently semi-retired to GR, and I know Barb’s dearest wish while living in exile (OH) was to return to the church of her childhood.

  2. sean says:

    “S]ome of my “progressive” Christian friends, … frankly seem to salivate over the prospect that our capitalist culture may be teetering on the brink of collapse.”

    Yeah, I’ve always wanted to see them reconcile their attitude with I Tim 2 or Jer. 29:7. Without falling back on some reconstructionist screech.

  3. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    No, I have not. I will try to remember to shout out, “Is Rube’s aunt and uncle here?!” as loud as I can next Sunday morning upon entering the sanctuary.

    As to the Crouch article, I kept waiting to see “hope” tied to the gospel instead of arguably universal values.

    I found this interesting:

    “A core Christian conviction—one that informed much of the best of Western civilization—is that the good life is not easy. It requires discipline. It invites us into pain.”

    Instead of a Christian value, this seems more like a value found amongst as many Christians as pagans (you know, like the difference between Christians doing education and Christian education). And if Osteen is any measure, it seems like this value is as rejected as it is embraced by believers.

  4. RubeRad says:

    As to the Crouch article, I kept waiting to see “hope” tied to the gospel instead of arguably universal values.

    Waiting as in, you expected a disagreeable statement, or you hoped for an agreeable statement? If his hope for the other kingdom is pegged to the gospel, it seems he’d be postmillenial. I kind of liked his pegging of hope on Paul’s “pre-gospel” exposition of the conscience and Natural Law in Rom 1-2.

  5. Barbara says:

    R’s aunt and uncle are pretty sure they have found a church home at COS…where the pastor preaches the Word each Sunday, the congregation partakes of communion (and children are blessed) each Sunday, the SS classes and households are friendly and discussion lively and discerning, and the service/outreach to the large nearby immigrant community is passionate and caring and done in the name of Jesus. Coming, Listening, Communing, and Being Sent to Serve: the marks of worship and discipleship.

  6. RubeRad says:

    Interesting — I was sure you were headed back home. Anyways, thanks for the article! (And Z, I hope you didn’t shout too loud yesterday)

  7. Barbara says:

    No, we’re giving Grandpa his space 🙂

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