Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Spurgeon post: Gestures + Postures Toward Culture at Miscellanies

“When we set out to communicate or live the gospel, we never start from scratch. Even before church buildings became completely indistinguishable from warehouse stores, church architects were borrowing from ‘secular’ architects. Long before the Contemporary Christian Music industry developed its uncanny ability to echo any mainstream music trend, church musicians from Bach to the Wesleys were borrowing well-known tunes and reworking them for liturgical use.

Why shouldn’t the church borrow from any and every cultural form for the purposes of worship and discipleship? The church, after all, is a culture-making enterprise itself, concerned with making something of the world in the light of the story that has taken us by surprise and upended our assumptions about that world. Copying culture can even be, at its best, a way of honoring culture, demonstrating the lesson of Pentecost that every human language, every human cultural form, is capable of bearing the good news.

The problem is not with any of these gestures—condemning, critiquing, consuming, copying. All of them can be appropriate responses to particular cultural goods. Indeed, each of them may be the only appropriate response to a particular cultural good. But the problem comes when these gestures become too familiar, become the only way we know how to respond to culture, become etched into our unconscious stance toward the world and become postures.”

- Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (IVP, 2008).

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