Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Shouldn't the Church Change Culture?

Like every theological tradition, US evangelicalism is as much a subculture as it is a set of beliefs. It’s a community built on shared practices and products,....
This is a story about a CCM record label. And it just hits me as all wrong.

There are sub-cultural elements to Evangelicalism, but embracing that fact is to make it ordinary, no different than any of the other sub-cultures out there. It makes it sound like every teenager has to decide whether to go with the geeks, the goths, or the Christians. Please, there is too much at stake.

Secondly, CCM strikes me more as appropriating other cultural elements and making them vaguely Christian than it does actually inventing and leading a culture. It is limiting ourselves to sub-culture instead of insisting that we define culture. This impulse is born, I think, of an evangelical misunderstanding of how to deal with culture. Hard Rock music doesn't seem "Christian enough," so we appropriate it. Instead of teaching kids what is right and wrong about hard rock, we just say, "Here listen to hard rock 'tamed.'"

Everybody knows I am a serious fan of comic books. There is a definite comic book sub-culture. I don't live there. There is a bunch of bad stuff in comics, particularly right now. But I still reads them, a lot. I am just picky about what I read. That is a function of having been taught that I can appreciate things of the world so long as I do not become part of it.

We need to tach kids to be in, but not of, culture, not to segregate into sub-culture.


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