Thor: The Avengers Disassembled

SPOILER NOTE: This is a review of a character from the 2012 film “The Avengers”. It will contain spoilers. I recommend avoiding this review until you’ve seen the film.

“We on Asgard pretend that we are more advanced, but we- we come here battling like Bilgesnipe.”

“Like what?”

“The Bilgesnipe. You know- huge, scaly, big antlers. You don’t have those?”

“Don’t think so.”

“They are repulsive, and they trample everything in their path.”

-Thor and Agent Coulson, The Avengers

ThorStop me if you’ve heard this one.

The Crown Prince of a higher realm. The son of a god who is himself a god. Petitioning his father to use all his resources to send him to Earth in pursuit of a runaway adopted brother, a former heir to glory that he loves despite his rebellion which tossed a world into chaos. Sound familiar?

We’ll talk more about Loki in a future post, but because of him, Thor is probably the most layered of the Avengers. While his previous experience with Loki, in 2011’s Thor, ended in the near-destruction of a small town and the threatening of the woman he loved largely due to Thor’s own hubris, Thor is eager to return to Earth and make things right with his brother, separated though they are by Loki’s warped desires.

“I’m not overly fond of what comes after.”

Isn’t it interesting how the man who comes to stop Loki isn’t out to kill him?  Thor has grown so much in a year that he’s barely recognizable now. There are still moments of arrogance, to be sure, but he’s come a long way from the demigod who was banished for risking the entire cosmos in pursuit of personal pride. “Have a care how you speak!” he insists, “Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard and he is my brother.” His pursuit of Loki is pure-hearted and motivated by love for his lost brother and care for his beloved Earth. Even his admission to the Black Widow that “He’s adopted” is an admission: we are related, and I choose to pursue that relationship. It’s in this way that he has become the most Christ-like figure of the Avengers.

It’s not enough for Christ to sit in heaven and look down upon the Earth that He helped His father create. When Jesus sees us in our squalor, He is pained – and moved to do something about it. He comes into our world, not with the flash of lightning and fearsome thunder, but with a baby’s cry. Not that he is any less powerful – how powerful is a God who willingly lays down His strength, knowing that He’ll gain all the more from it?

“Taking their lives will gain you nothing. So take mine and end this.”

Then He begins His pursuit of the fallen brother – us. Christ’s mission, from His own lips, is “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 ESV), and He launches into it with gusto. The pursuit would lead Him all over Galilee while He was on this planet; then, after His departure, He pursues us all over the world and our own hearts through the souls He has redeemed and the Holy Spirit He has sent. His pursuit would eventually even lead Him to His death.

But the death of Christ was only the beginning of the pursuit. We return home with Him, not in chains as Loki, but in victory, as Christ’s brother – co-heirs with Him of the Kingdom of God!

You’re Adopted

And make no mistake – though I use the word “us,” since Christ did come to save as many people as He could, I could just as easily use the word you.

You left the crown of Heaven, unsatisfied with what you were given. You ran toward what you thought would give you pleasure, power over your own life, glory, joy – all the things Loki craved and risked a universe for. And You are the sad, despondent, alienated child who curses the man who gives you everything.

But You are also the reason that God gave His son. You are the person He wants to adopt into His family, more than anything. You are the prodigal son or daughter whose returning home will spark parties and rejoicing in Heaven.

Christ is pursuing you. That’s why you’re reading these words right now – I believe that God can use the words of a broken, sinful, defeated geek in Indianapolis, talking about a comic book character named after a pagan false god, to catch you. He wants to catch you – despite your escape, and all the havoc you have caused since you rebelled, He runs to you “while you are still far off, feeling compassion, embracing and kissing” you (Luke 15:20, paraphrased). And you are far off, to be sure. Our sin separates us from the God of the Universe like nothing has ever been ripped apart before, but God runs to you while you’re still in your own filth.

Stop running away. Stop pursuing your own kingdom and give yourself over to His.

“Give up this poisonous dream. You come home.”

• • •

This was post 3 of 5 in the “Avengers Disassembled” series. We’ve already looked at Captain America and The Incredible Hulk; later, we’ll investigate Iron Man and stare down Loki.

Thor“, “The Avengers“, andThor: The Dark Worldare all available to watch instantly on Amazon.com, and buying them through these affiliate links helps support Redeeming Culture at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

This review was originally written prior to the release of “Thor: The Dark World“, and published prior to a Film and Theology event about the newer film. Follow us on social media for our upcoming review of many more Marvel movies to come.

The Incredible Hulk: The Avengers Disassembled

SPOILER NOTE: This is a review of a character from the 2012 film “The Avengers”. It will contain spoilers. I recommend avoiding this review until you’ve seen the film.

“It’s good to meet you, Dr. Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.”

-Tony Stark, The Avengers


The Incredible Hulk
A Complex Brute

The Incredible Hulk is a complex creature.  Born in 1962 from the pen of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, he’s always been a monster released by anger and stress – but it’s not as simple as that.

Bruce Banner’s dad was abusive, the comics said, and the Hulk was a physical manifestation of the rage that had become Banner’s way of coping with reality.

Several times, the two have even been separated, but their need for one another is overwhelming and they’re always reunited.

But the core of the character is always the same; as seen in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner is a divided, risky, consumed man.

A Divided Man

Hulk was always intended to be a reference to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Stan Lee intended him to be something adolescent boys could relate to as their bodies changed and spiraled out of their control.  But he turned into something we can all identify with.

See, Bruce Banner is so inseparable from the Hulk because, quite simply, he IS the Hulk.  When he tries to remove the monster, he fails; when he tries to restrain his anger, he fails.  By the time Agent Romanoff meets him to recruit him for the Avengers, Banner has given up.  The Hulk is a part of him.

A very dangerous part of him.

We Only Hulk Out on the Ones We Love

All right.  We can agree that the Hulk is actively dangerous, right?  He starts out unbelievably strong and gets stronger the madder he gets.  In The Avengers, he punches a space monster the size of a nuclear submarine and knocks it backwards.

But unfortunately, his danger isn’t always focused on the bad guys.  He puts his friends and family in danger time and time again.  In the opening scene of his standalone film, he puts his fiancee in the hospital.  In The Avengers, even the most powerful demigod in Asgard can’t stop him from putting everyone aboard the Helicarrier at risk.

But he’s not just actively dangerous.  Even when he’s the mild-mannered scientist, he’s still passively dangerous.  He’s a fugitive, so anyone who helps him is a criminal.  He’s on the edge of turning into the Hulk, so anyone nearby when he’s mad will face his wrath.

He’s not a safe guy to be around.  You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry.

A Poisoned Soul

Banner’s condition isn’t just dangerous to those around him.  Living with GAMMA poisoning, as Mr. Blue says in The Incredible Hulk, is not safe.  So unsafe that risking the combined might of the US Military would be preferable.  When Stan Lee’s character drinks a soda with a drop of his blood inside, he falls over almost instantly.

And it gets even worse.  The more Banner gives in, the harder it is to stop him.  And when Emil Blonsky gives in to Banner’s poisoning, he becomes an abomination.

Worst of all, though, is the aftermath.  The shame of endangering those close to you, the weakness that Banner always shows after he returns to normal, and the alienation of being ostracized from society are the best you can hope for; at worst, you kill others and cause untold destruction before you die.

“Well then, son, you’ve got a Condition.”

But if we really understood the danger of what lurks inside us, we’d run and hide, too.  We’d be even more insistent that we “don’t want to control it.  [We] want to get rid of it.”

See, Banner’s poison is Gamma radiation.  Ours is much more subversive.

Our sin is a part of us.  It’s part of us by choice – like Banner chose the procedure, so we chose to sin.  It’s part of us by nature – Banner’s very cells were green, and ours too are tainted by the sin we cling to.  And it’s part of us continually – over and over, we choose to sin, giving in to our rage monster and putting others at risk.

Our sin poisons our lives, too.  Romans 7:15 is about a man who wants to get rid of his sin, but can’t; “I do not understand my own actions,” he laments.  “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  The poison runs deep, dividing us into different people, hurting those around us, and leaving shame and destruction in its wake.

And like Banner, we’re completely helpless against it.  Our ongoing struggle will always be – how do we have a normal life, with this poison running through our veins?

A Way Out

As helpful as Betty Ross, the Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D. can be, they’re just comforters and helpers.  Bruce Banner is in trouble, and he doesn’t have a way out.  Not even death, as he reveals in The Avengers.

But we have a way out.  We’re being pursued – not to destroy us or to capture us, but to restore us and free us of the poison.  Christ is chasing us down – in Luke 19:10, He tells us that His mission is to “Seek and Save the lost;” and in Romans 5:7-8, we’re told that “while we were still sinners” – poisoned, hopeless – “Christ died for us.”  He laid everything down for us on the cross.

All we can do is hope in Him.  Until then, we’re always angry.

• • •

This was post 2 of 5 in the “Avengers Disassembled” series. Earlier, we looked at Captain America; over the next weeks, we’ll take a look at Thor, Iron Man, and the “puny god,” Loki.

The Incredible Hulkand The Avengers” are available to watch instantly on Amazon.com, and buying them through these affiliate links helps support Redeeming Culture at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Captain America: The Avengers Disassembled

SPOILER NOTE: This is a review of a character from the 2012 film “The Avengers”. It will contain spoilers. I recommend avoiding this review until you’ve seen the film.

“Aren’t the stars and stripes a little…old fashioned?”

“Everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light— people might just need a little old fashioned.”

-Captain America and Agent Phil Coulson, The Avengers


Captain America in 2012's "The Avengers"A Hopeful Genre

Superhero films have undergone an interesting transition in the last several years. Last decade, they seemed obsessed with the bleak, unsure, and angsty; Spider-Man, Elektra, The Dark Knight and even Superman Returns showed superheroes who were unsure about their missions, didn’t want the great power or great responsibility that had been bestowed upon them, and sometimes seemed to shirk their responsibilities.

But in the last few years (Man of Steel aside), a more hopeful hero seems to have come into vogue, and Captain America rides at the forefront of that wave. From the outset, Rogers was much more interested in helping the downtrodden than in lording his heroism over anyone else. “I don’t like bullies,” he says in The First Avenger, “I don’t care where they’re from.” He’s dedicated to righting wrongs, to making life better for the downtrodden. Even as he’s nearing almost certain death, he doesn’t question his decision to do what is right.

An Old-Fashioned Superhero

In The Avengers, the Captain has been taken out of his time, but he hasn’t lost his sense of truth, justice, and the American way. He’s an utterly unabashed superhero; pleased to be doing his part. In contrast to the other three jaded, flawed heroes we’ll be talking about later, he has no major, fatal flaw; he’s a good guy doing a good job. He’s ready to jump into action when he’s needed, he doesn’t back out at the first sign of trouble, he’s willing to make the sacrifice if he’s needed, and he doesn’t try to grab all the credit for himself. It’s a very old-fashioned idea.

And like Coulson says, maybe that’s exactly what we need. This century is an uncertain one thus far. Terrorism, financial crisis on multiple continents, civil unrest and protest, fear, recessionthe enemies we face may not be as colorful as Loki or the Red Skull, but they are just as difficult for mortals to defeat. We face problems and fears daily that not only threaten our freedom and livelihood but demand that we kneel before them and allow them to consume us.

“We ended up disagreeing.”

When Captain America first leaps into action in The Avengers, he validates the old man’s insistence that there will always be something that demands our allegiance; a false god that demands we kneel. It’s true that we are made to bow our knees, but not to Loki, and certainly not to the weak and puny concerns we find ourselves surrounded by and threatened by every day. Captain America may be willing to give up his life, but he’s not willing to sacrifice himself to Loki’s unworthy cause.

Captain America’s optimism and hope are a reassurance that we can withstand our enemies; our battles can be won, if we have the right ally.

Clothes make the God?

The Bible talks about a similar, silver-tongued villain who insists we kneel to him, and an amazing Savior who tells him “not today,” insisting that the real God “does not dress like that” – clothed in lies, brandishing the power to make us forget who we are and fight amongst ourselves.  He looks attractive to us, but 1 Peter 5:8 says that Satan, like Loki, is “looking for someone to devour.”  We’ll talk about him more in upcoming posts, but what’s important is this: our battle against him will be hard-fought and long. It does not end until our life does, but if our Savior fights for us – and dies for us – victory will be ours. Christ made that commitment on the cross, laying Himself down to receive the blow meant for us.

He seems old-fashioned, but as The Avengers proves, we really need something old-fashioned right now.

• • •

This was post 1 of 5 in the “Avengers Disassembled” series. Soon, we’ll discover the truth in the life of The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Loki.

Captain America: The First Avenger“, “The Avengers“, andCaptain America: The Winter Soldier are all available to watch instantly on Amazon.com, and buying them through these affiliate links helps support Redeeming Culture at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

This review was originally written prior to the release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier“, and published prior to a Film and Theology event about the newer film. Follow us on social media for our upcoming review of Captain America 2, as well as more Marvel movies to come.

The Avengers Disassembled: Preview

The AvengersComing soon on Redeeming Culture, we’ll be examining the four co-stars from Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster The Avengers, as well as their trickster villain.

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the themes and threads running through the lives of Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Loki. Keep your eyes out here and on our social media platforms to see them when they arrive. We look forward to hearing your input!

And, as the great Stan Lee says – Excelsior!

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek: Film and Theology posterThis extended review is about Star Trek, the 2009 film, and as usual assumes that you’ve seen it. Please be aware that there will be spoilers below.

There have been wars shorter than the Star Trek franchise; if you sat down to watch all six series and eleven movies, you’d be in that chair for 25 days. Better buy some extra popcorn. It’s lasted for 46 years now, surviving through ten American presidents, outlasting the entire Apollo program, and predating Star Wars by over a decade. But when the sixth series, Enterprise, went off the air in 2005 after only four seasons, there was this unshakable feeling that the franchise had lost something. Until J.J. Abrams blew the dust off in 2009.

Okay, all cards on the table. I’ve been a Trek fan since I was born. I understand the dynamic of Star Trek, and what it means to millions of fans all over the world. And I also understand what Star Trek truly is: Us, out there.


Core Breach

Both Kirks, Spocks and McCoys.James T. Kirk, Leonard H. McCoy, and Spock are and always have been the true core of Star Trek. While other crews have come and gone, they’re the most recognizable and longest-lasting elements of the show, and as such are the obvious choice to be the core of the franchise reboot. As much fun as their interactions are, they really represent Us in their conflictedness.

Kirk is the Id of Freud’s model of the psyche. He’s the instinct, the driving force, the impulse power of the crew (Credit/blame to James Harleman for that particular joke). He’s our desire side, kept in check by the other two.

Spock is the Ego in Freud’s analysis. He’s concerned with logic, completely and utterly, and doesn’t understand Kirk’s human impulses. He can often come across as cruel and unfeeling (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”). Spock is our mind, kept in check by the other two.

McCoy is the Superego. The morality, the sense of right and wrong. He’s consistently angered by Spock’s cold calculations. McCoy is our conscience, kept in check by what is feasible and what is possible.

The three form a series of natural checks and balances, but the battles they play out on the bridge of the Enterprise are the same as the ones in our mind; in a sense, both in the old series and the modern film, they are the core of “Us,” boldly going where no one has gone before, with the phaser power (and indeed the duty) to fight our fears and win.

The War Criminal known as Nero

The Romulan terrorist Nero.Star Trek has classically been about fighting our greatest fears. When the series was first aired, in the midst of the Cold War, that fear was the Soviet Union – embodied, largely, by a Klingon Empire. Since then, the fears of our world have changed, and we no longer fear a monolithic government as much as we once did. Now, our fears are the terrorists, the renegade who destroys billions to carry out his own vigilante retribution. Our fears are now encapsulated in Nero.

He truly is one of the most memorable villains, and that’s largely a result of his casual disregard for civilians. He destroys Vulcan with the same intensity and purpose that he destroys the fleet, essentially polarizing everyone. He doesn’t allow anyone the luxury of remaining neutral. And there’s no negotiating with him, no discussion – the only way to defeat him is to destroy him utterly.

The Bible talks about our enemy who is very like this. He represents only himself, saying “I will set my throne on high (Isaiah 14:13-14)”. He has no regard for civilians, devouring men, women, and children (1 Peter 5:8). And he has nothing to lose. He knows his defeat is imminent; his aim is only to cause pain.

Captain of the Enterprise

The two captains of the Enterprise share a moment.The hero of Star Trek is born in battle, and was never destined for smallness. Like Pike tells him, “Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives – including your mother’s, and yours. I dare you to do better.” Kirk takes that dare.

Joseph Campbell would call this moment the “Call to Adventure,” and as viewers, we know that he’s supposed to end up as Captain of the Enterprise. But he can feel the tug of destiny, too – initially to prove himself (“Four years? I’ll do it in three”), then to save Earth (“Either we’re going down…or they are”). He becomes the sort of man who cares for his crew and develops a true sense of duty, as he was destined to.

We have a similar destiny. The Bible makes it clear that we’re at war. Born in battle. In John Eldredge’s book “Love and War,” he says that all of human history is “a love story, set in the midst of desperate times, set in the midst of war…[and we will] require immense courage and sacrifice.” The villain has removed from us the luxury of choosing to be a noncombatant. We cannot be neutral.

But while we’re commanded to take part in this adventure, we’re not the heroes. We’re not the man in the captain’s chair of this particular ship. In Matthew 28, our Captain gave us orders, and promised that He’d leave no man (or woman) behind in this mission, this endeavor – a great destiny that He previews for us in the book of Revelation.

Best Destiny

Old Spock (Spock Prime)Nero knows that Kirk’s destiny means his failure, though. So he tries to wipe it out. “That was another life,” he says. And he doesn’t progress with his self-elected “mission” until he’s sure that Kirk is dead.

There’s one problem with Nero’s effort to deprive the Enterprise crew of their captain, though; the timeline is rebuilding Kirk’s destiny. In a scene that was deleted from the script, Kirk and the Old Spock continue their discussion in the cave on Delta Vega.

SPOCK PRIME
Dr. McCoy would assert our meeting here is not a matter of coincidence…but rather, indication of a higher purpose.
KIRK
…he’d call it a damn miracle.
SPOCK PRIME
Yes, he would. Perhaps the time stream’s way of attempting to mend itself. In both our histories, the same crew found its way onto the same ship in a time of ultimate crisis — therein lies our advantage.

Spock may not put profess to put much stock in the idea of a higher purpose, but destiny in this case cannot be denied. Whether Spock would admit it or not, like Simon Pegg (Scotty) said in an interview, “Destiny is stronger than time and circumstance. The crew is supposed to unite.”

Our enemy is seeking to destroy our destiny, too. Our success means Satan’s destruction; his loss and our victory is foretold in the book of Revelation, and he’s read that book, too. He’ll stop at nothing to kill our drive, warp our logic, and overwhelm our morality. He’ll render us ineffective in any way he can.

But his plan is just as flawed as Nero’s was. In Job 42:2, the Bible insists that “No purpose of [God's] can be thwarted.” In fact, God will even use the evil schemes of the enemy to accomplish His plan. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” the apostle Paul says; “for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (2 Corinthians 4:17, Romans 8:28). God’s glory is revealed even by the actions of an enemy aiming to destroy it.

Final Frontier

Our destiny is for our desires, morality, and logic to work together to glorify God. Jesus said that Himself: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:27). He calls it the first and greatest commandment; the warp core of life.

But how do we love the Lord? Many books and papers have been written on it, but He told us that, too. Our orders, straight from the Captain’s chair, are essentially to save lives, just like He did (Matthew 28:18-20).

Our Captain had a very unique destiny on this planet: to die. Like Kirk, he was born into a broken, fallen, falling-apart world; a villain tried to steal His future, but he made it to His destiny anyway. Unlike Kirk, that destiny was death on a cross to save us.

The story doesn’t end with that, though. That very same Hero then recruits us to work for Him, raising from the dead to secure our ability to be crew members on His ship. He comes to us when we looked like Kirk in the bar: near death, wallowing in our own blood, rejected and humiliated, beaten and battered, arrogant – completely unlovely. Romans 5:8 says that He called us to Himself while we were in that state. He recruited us when we were at our worst. Colossians 1:15-23 even goes so far as to call us hostile aliens before we meet God, and allies with Him now.

And He has given us a mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life – people who will be saved from their slavery to sin, and rise to walk in new life with Him – and to save the universe.

Aye, sir. Thrusters at maximum.

 

Find out more about or watch “Star Trek“: (IMDb/Amazon)

 

This review was originally posted on Redeeming Culture’s ancestor site, zoettrope.com.

Redeeming what?

Welcome to Redeeming Culture!

Hm?  You don’t know what “culture” is?  It’s ok.

Webster’s defines “Culture” as “Cultivation, tillage.”  That’s not what this site is about.
Webster’s Medical Dictionary calls it “the act or process of growing living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media.”  That’s…SO not what this site is about.

All right, dictionaries are getting us nowhere.  How about this definition:

CULTURE is the intangible product of a society, consisting of their common language, morality, mythology, sport, literature, experience, art, music, sensation, weather, fashion, play, memes, architecture…

Ok.  That’s going to get way too long for one post…but don’t worry.  We’ll make the list even longer as time goes on.

How’s this for a definition:

CULTURE is the common thread that binds all human beings together.

Short and sweet.  Also, ridiculously broad.  All human beings?  All common threads?  Yep, and that’s what we’re here to talk about.  This stuff is important—and exciting!

Saddle up, strap in, power to the engines.  We’re going on an adventure.

(“Cool, but what do you mean by ‘redeeming?’  Like, trading in your tokens at an arcade?”  Read up on that here.)
(“But wait, why does culture need to be redeemed?  Sounds like it’s pretty good already.”  Read this and I’ll explain.)

Doing what to Culture?

Welcome to Redeeming Culture!

Oh?  You’re not sure what I mean by “Redeeming?”  Well, I love to talk about it.

Webster’s has three great definitions for the word “redeem.”  I love ‘em all.

re·deem

verb \ri-ˈdēm\

: to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable

: to exchange (something, such as a coupon or lottery ticket) for money, an award, etc.

: to buy back (something, such as a stock or bond)

In this context, it’s a little more specific, because it’s talking about Jesus Christ: He made us acceptable to God by exchanging His life for ours, in order to buy back our rebellious selves from the destruction of sin and make us one with Him.

Redemption is quite possibly the most beautiful concept on this or any other planet.  And I don’t think I’m exaggerating.

Pour yourself a delicious beverage, kick back, and relax.  Let’s enjoy this.

(“I understand redemption, but what about ‘culture?’  Are you talking about the stuff in yogurt, or going to the symphony?”  Both and neither.  Read up on it here.)
(“Hold up, this doesn’t make sense.  You’re just talking about redeeming people, nothing about redeeming culture.  And that’s the name of the site!!”  Which is why I talk about it here.)

Redeeming…Culture?

Welcome to Redeeming Culture!

What’s that?  Why are those two words together?  Well, I’ll tell you.

So, several times in the past two millennia, the Christian church has decided that all culture was bad.  They are wrong about this.

Also, several times in the past life of humanity on the planet, the secular culture has decided that all culture was good.  They are also wrong about this.

See, not all culture is bad.  And not all culture is good.  As vlogger and YouTube personality John Green said, “The truth resists simplicity.”

Why does this truth resist simplicity?  Because there is a lot of different culture out there, and a lot of different people to consume it.

Some culture consumed by some people is dangerous, and it should be rejected completely because of the harm it can cause to them.  Other culture, or even the same culture consumed by different people, is not harmful or is even helpful, and should be received completely!  But there is a type of cultural interaction that should truly be redeemed—not because it is inherently good, but because the God who made us all wrote His Story on our hearts, and so when we create and enjoy things, they naturally reflect His Story in some way, shape, form or fashion.¹

Imperfectly, yes. Sometimes even ridiculously so. But we cannot ignore even the barest nuggets, because the stories and cultural expressions that touch our hearts are profound and can help us understand ourselves and God in deeper and newer ways.

And this is where we sit today.  Redeeming Culture means recognizing those nuggets of truth, or the holes where they should be, and bringing them into the light where they can give glory to the Creator of all good stories.

Grab your magnifying glass and deerstalker cap. This is a search for the ages.

(“Cool, but what do you mean by ‘redeeming?’ Like, coupons or something?” Read up on that here.)
(“I understand redemption, but what about ‘culture?’ Like what happens in a petri dish?” Sorta. Learn about that here.)

¹ The “Receive, Reject, Redeem” trichotomy is a framework developed by Mark Driscoll of the Resurgence. Learn more about this filter here

² “Wait, there are footnotes on this blog? I don’t think I would have read this if I knew what I was getting into…”

Want to contribute?

Calling writers, podcasters, artists, and theologians!

If you’d like to write for Redeeming Culture, let me know! This place will get pretty boring if it’s just one person rambling on. Join us! Redeem culture with us! Comment below, or drop us a line at contributors@redeemingculture.com.  Looking forward to hearing from you!