Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Review of Where Faith and Culture Meet

Cover of Where Faith and Culture Meet from

Where Faith and Culture Meet is a good video resource to foster communication and discussion about faith and culture. This video resource is also a very good companion to Andy Crouch's Culture Making.

I have used this video series in my Theology in the Arts class and it was well received. However this series is a bit slow at times and is very philosophical and "heady." A small group setting seems to be the appropriate context for this series in fostering discussion. The video series does not stand-alone very well without the discussion component and without reading the book Culture Making, on which the series is based.

This series does not capture the entirety the book Culture Making very well either. The best advice would be to read the book before watching the series and before using it in a small group or class.

Here is a bit more information about Andy Crouch's book Culture Making:

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling is a great book for studying how to be cultivators and influencers of culture. God has called us to be creative and to influence culture and we should, indeed, be attuned to this calling. Andy Crouch gets us back to our call in this well-done and extremely helpful book.

Andy Crouch addresses culture making in his book Culture Making, as well as on his web site, when he says: "It is not enough to condemn culture. Nor is it sufficient merely to critique culture or to copy culture. Most of the time, we just consume culture."

We are to be leaders of culture, not just consumers of culture. We are to be pioneers of culture who will determine the future of our world. To quote again from Andy Crouch, from Culture Making, "The only way to change culture is to create culture." If we are to change the world, we must be creators and cultivators of the cultures around us by the power of God at work in us.

Crouch says, "The essence of childhood is innocence. The essence of youth is awareness. The essence of adulthood is responsibility." We have responsibilities to the culture around us as Christians and should be seeking to be influencers and cultivators of culture.

Andy Crouch asserts in his book: "Something exciting is happening at the intersection of Christianity and culture. Christians are becoming dissatisfied with the postures they adopted toward culture in the twentieth century: condemning it, critiquing it, copying it, or just consuming it. More and more, we want to be people who cultivate: people who tend and keep what is good. And we want to be people who create: adding new cultural goods that move the horizons of the possible in places as wide as the world and as small as a home."

This is what Paul asked the Colossian church to do in Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Paul also talked about resisting conformity to this world, and shaping culture, in Romans 12:1-2.

We are called to join in with God in His work, and cultivate our culture. We are not to conform to this world, but be transformed by God, and become transformation agents of God in the world.

As leaders, as believers, our calling is a high calling. We are called not to mimic or imitate the world around us; we are called to shape it. We are called to create culture and not merely fall into it, or be shaped by it. We can lead, or we can follow. We can shape, or be shaped. The choice is ours.

This is what Paul was telling Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12. Paul said, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." These were the elder Paul's words to younger Timothy and they are equally as relevant to all of us today. Paul was telling Timothy to lead, pioneer the way, shape the culture of the church and the world, to serve and to influence, recognizing that it is not about him, and thereby shape the world for Christ.

We are good to remember Colossians 3:17, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

As Crouch asserts in his book, Culture Making, we are to be culture makers and cultivators to the glory of God.

This book review was adapted from my blog, My Two Mites, and is from my review posted on goodreads. This review is also published on CBD and

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