||2017-07-16 00:38:28, 조회 : 614, 추천 : 177
| Pop Culture|
Chapter Four - Judging Popular Culture
Do we want to use popular culture to our advantage? “YES!” Do we want to use popular culture to spread our Lord’s kingdom? “YEA!” When do we want it? “NOW!” How will we get it? “By articulating and adopting standards that are parallel to our Biblical worldview and mission.” YEA! These exact standards that will allow us to exercise judgement on pop culture. Ken Myers states, - this is a bit paraphrased - the cultural forms that deny, suppress, or distort the divine order ought to be recognized as inferior to those that acknowledge, honor, and enjoy the divine order of God. This idea of judging popular culture and its sympathizers is an odd view. We are told, commanded to “judge not, lest you be judged.” This argument sounds very familiar. Why? This is because we hear it so often when we criticize anyone or anything part of pop culture. However, we have three solid arguments against this idea of no judging.
The first argument is, “We judge works of culture, not souls.” When we judge works as not aligning with the Word of God, we are not condemning creators and enjoyers of the work to damnation. The judgement of the soul is solely our Lord’s job. It is also pretty rational to judge works of pop culture as aligning with the Word of God or not. If a piece of work proclaims the glorification of sex, drugs, murder, and nuclear warfare; it is reasonable to say that work isn’t something God would be pleased with.
The second argument is, “Judgement is not optional.” I want you to find one person who does not judge. Can’t? That is because it is not possible! As we have mentioned many times before, pop culture is everywhere around us; it is kind of impossible to not judge the thing. We also judge very subtly sometimes; for example, when we choose a rap album over a death metal goth album. When we take pleasure in a tune or a catchy song, we are exercising judgement. However, the point of this chapter is not only to exercise judgement but to also exercise sound judgement.
The third argument is, “Jesus commands discernment.” Our Lord and Savior commands us to use sound judgement. He, of course, didn’t say it in that way; he actually tells us to use judgement on the basis of righteousness, which will conform to the “character and purposes of God.” In short, not really, we are to employ a righteous judgement on pop culture; not just dismissing it dismissively.
Our author, T. M. Moore, gives us a Stool of Judgement. This stool has three legs, which is a metaphor for three groups of standards: the understanding of beauty, the commitment to truth, and the devotion to goodness. These three “legs” are then supported by three braces: revelation, tradition, and the work of the Holy Spirit. However, let us not forget that taste definitely plays a factor in our judgement in popular culture. Although, taste is subjective and up to the individual, it is not always valid. Fortunately, taste is not something that is there and can not be changed, rather taste is something that can be cultivated and expanded.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” this has never been more true in this present time, well it hasn’t been more believed in this present time. No matter what you like, there will be no criticism or hate thrown your way. This has shown that our society gives an almost perfect amount of freedom to man. They are able to embrace anything they want to like and can do it freely, openly, and proudly; no matter how odd or unethical. It seems there is not absolute standard that art must conform to. Danto calls this the catalyst for the “death of art.” Instead of asking what is the art that is being beholden, let us ask who is the ultimate beholder of art? We are told not to lean on our understanding. This is due to our own hearts being deceitful and desperately wicked. As Christians, we ought to recognize that our Lord is the ultimate beholder of art. Therefore, all we do is done in the name of God and for his glorification. When we do things in this world, we are doing to please God, not ourselves.
The three legs - beauty, goodness, and truth. Beauty relies on the matters of aesthetics that is found in pop culture. Goodness could regard to a matter of what the end goal is. Finally, truth “relates to the question of morality and the message or meaning of any cultural form.” To find these qualities we have to look into the God’s creation. This study of God’s creation is the proper calling of God’s kingdom. Studying God’s creation is not the only things we are to do, we are to also study God’s reaction to his creation: whenever he made something, he proclaimed his creation good. Therefore, we are to strive to pass judgement according to what would be good in the eyes of God. This can come to be very hard because many times we become too engrossed into the creation of our own works that we are unable to implement the standards that we are to abide by. Therefore, we are supposed to interrogate any piece of pop culture; we are to ask it if it parallels the decree given to us in the Scripture. As citizens of two kingdoms - the earthly and the heavenly - we must not be too caught up in the so-called beauty of this world.
As there are three legs, there also are three braces. These three braces that connect the three legs together, and lead us to enact righteous judgement on pop culture. Two braces are God’s revelation and the interpretation of that revelation. The third brace is the awareness of the work of the Holy Spirit.
God reveals a lot to his subjects. We are to use what he reveals to us as standards for the pop culture we see today. By doing this we are sticking to the Word of God when we are exercising the judgement that is required of us.
The third brace was the awareness of the work of the Holy Spirit. It seems a bit odd to put that there; all we have been talking about is the revelation that has been given to us, so we are now here discussing the relevance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is constantly working in God’s favor: turning many people to create works that are according to the word of God. This signifies that the tradition of Christianity is constantly moving and developing.
1. What standards currently guide your involvement with popular culture?
2. Think of a form of pop culture that gives you particular pleasure - a song, a film, a sport, or other form. What about that form would you describe as beautiful?
3. Prepare a catalog your tastes in pop culture. Make a list of several forms of pop culture that gives you pleasure. Are your tastes for these things on the list consciously determined using the kinds of standards that are talked about in this chapter?