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.²
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
² “Ok, so…this is a site full of sermon illustrations?” Kind of. Well, they could be. But they’re WAY more than that. Rather than trying to support some point I’ve already made with a piece of culture, the point of Redeeming Culture is the culture. What is it about this stuff that drives us, draws us in? Why does it make for such effective sermon illustrations? And how does it reflect the Truth? But the main point isn’t just to find parallels – it’s to see our hearts resonate with the pieces of His stoy, written on our hearts.
³ “Wait, there are footnotes on this blog? I don’t think I would have read this if I knew what I was getting into…”