Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday Reflection for Week 2

Tuesday's class dealt with culturalism, and the various ways that different scholars defined culture. What really caught my attention, though, was the view of Stuart Hall who said that rather than looking at the differences between elite and working class culture, we should be evaluating culture as good or bad. I was waiting for Ryan to give us Hall's criteria for evaluating culture, but all Ryan said was that his criteria wasn't clear. "Darn," I thought to myself, because I was wondering how someone outside of a Christian mindset would judge culture as "good" or "bad." And then I got to thinking, how do I judge culture? Well as a Christian I would love to say that it's based on Scripture, but is that always the case? To be honest, I highly doubt that it is, because I know for a fact that a lot of the things that I judge to be good or bad are simply subject to my likes or dislikes, which are fleeting to say the least. And what about our Christian sub-culture? It's funny how just because something is labeled as "Chrisitian"--music, books, movies, and so on--it is uncritically considered "good" or even "better" than anything else. But is it? More often than not, it isn't even close to what the world has. So then what's going on here? Are we to avoid all culture that is not "Christian" because according to some standard it is "bad?" But then we are left to create our own sub-culture that is somewhat of a cheap imitation of popular culture. Is that what it means when we say that the Kingdom of God is here? I sure hope not, but is this the picture that we are painting for the rest of the world? Obviously conforming to the dominant culture is not the way to go, neither is creating another culture based upon the dominant culture. The only option is to let the Spirit of God transform culture so that it can be "good" (in the biblical sense). And this should happen through us. But are we ready to bring that transformation? Better yet, are we ready to allow that transformation to occur within us first? Am I?


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