||2017-07-16 00:39:22, 조회 : 506, 추천 : 131
| Pop Culture|
Chapter Five - Approaching Popular Culture
After four chapters of this book you may think, “Wow, to approach popular culture in a Christian way is just way too hard and impractical.” There has been many times where I have even thought whether or not it was possible for us to fully commit ourselves into this practice. And it is normal to think this way: this is hard. There is no doubt behind that statement. We will often doubt whether or not this way of looking at pop culture will even become a part of our skillset. This is because when we are enjoying pop culture we are feeling good; we are enjoying ourselves. However, we must remember that we are Christians. As Christians we are called to redeem ourselves for every moment of the day. We are to live wisely. We are to “trust in the Lord with all our heart, to commit all our ways to Him.” However, if we are going to give in to the allure of popular culture, then we reject the duty of being the salt, light, and yeast of this world. By being the salt, light, and yeast we are transforming the strong presences of this world. Our author, T. M. Moore, says, “Being a Christian is the most demanding way of life that anyone can follow, and no one should embark upon it without first counting the cost of being a disciple of the Savior.” After that, we now will look into six aspects of an approach to popular culture.
The first aspect is approaching pop culture prayerfully. Prayer is the foundation of every Christian. However, it can play an important role in our approach to popular culture. It may seem a bit odd: “What? You’re going to pray for the sake of popular culture? What are you going to do? Pray that it goes away?” No, you can pray for other things. The first thing we are told to pray about is our involvement in popular culture. As a human we are definitely going to become involved in popular culture. Therefore, we are to pray for our involvement in it. We can ask that one of us or many of us can shift the focus of popular culture from materialism to a more God-centric focus. We can pray that we are able to even make the next big Biblical film - hoping that it stays true to the word of God. The next thing we can pray for is what we can learn from popular culture. Unless you’re God, there is always something to learn. We must pray for what we can learn about God’s wisdom and what he would expect from us. This will help us in our efforts to transform popular culture. We can also pray for what we can learn from pop culture, and use what we learn to transform it. Another thing we can pray for is actually the people who shape culture: musicians, artists, singers, directors, writers, etc. We can pray that these people do a good job in showing off the glory of our Lord. We can also pray for those who do not proclaim God’s name, to convert to Christianity and become a valuable asset in the movement for a more Christian culture.
We have to approach pop culture with an open mind. When I say open mind I am not saying to accept the things we see and think, “Hey, it might God’s way.” When I say open mind, I mean that we are to approach pop culture with a mind that is willing to learn from it, and a mind willing to understand it. We have to approach pop culture willing to expand our intelligence on it. Our author recommends spending some time in solitude to bring our minds to be more focused. We must accompany this with study and prayer. However, at this moment we aren’t supposed to throw away our Christian persona. It must stay present with us as we engage pop culture intellectually.
We have to approach popular culture with a purpose. We aren’t just turning into a vegetable when we engage pop culture. We are to approach it with the purpose to change, understand, and learn. For example, if decided that you are going to go to a cinema and watch a film, rethink that decision. Are you simply going to divert/occupy your evening? We have to become more intentional in our involvement within pop culture.
We have to approach popular culture critically. This is not to say that we ought to scream how much a piece of art sucks, no, don’t do that. We are supposed to see how a piece of work falls away from the will of God. Also we are looking to find the purpose of the creator. We ought to ask questions like, “Why did the author write a book about this topics?” We are to look at all the factors that go into the production of any piece of media/entertainment.
This one might sound weird. We are to approach pop culture dialogically. What this means is that we are to use the dialogue we have about pop culture to create meaningful conversations that will help us learn or transform popular culture. This can range from inspiring a director about our devotion to Christ to simply discussing problems about some works from popular culture.
The last way to approach popular culture is to approach it redemptively. By trying to redeem pop culture, so that it is align with God’s teachings, we are judging righteously and attempting to expand the dominion of God’s kingdom. We are to devote our lives to the redemption of pop culture, because, ultimately, it is pop culture that will shape the world; therefore, why not let Christianity be the deciding factor in how it will shape the world?
1. Think about Jesus’ referring to His followers as salt, light, and yeast. What do these images suggest about the role of Christians in the popular culture?
2. What would keep you from taking more of a kingdom approach to popular culture? Should you allow this to stand in your way? How might you overcome this obstacle?
3. Review the goals you established for this study back at the end of Chapter 1. Are you making any progress? IN what ways? Have any new goals been suggested to you?
4. The final chapter deals with expectations. In preparation for that chapter, do some thinking about this on your own. How would you like to benefit from taking more of a kingdom approach to pop culture in your own life?