Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Exegeting Culture

And speaking of Mark Batterson, he's got a fantastic post on his blog today called Decoding Culture. While I suggest you read the post yourself, here are some highlights:
  • The moment we anoint our methods as sacred, we stop creating the future and start repeating the past. We stop doing ministry out of imagination and start doing ministry out of memory.
  • Too many pastors are getting A's in Biblical exegesis and D's in cultural exegesis.
  • The church has four options when it comes to engaging culture: 1) ignore it, 2) imitate it, 3) condemn it, or 4) create it.
  • If the church ignores the culture, the culture will ignore the church. If the church condemns the culture, the culture will condemn the church.
  • We can condemn culture, but condemnation is a cop out. Let me just call it what it is: condemnation is spiritual laziness.
  • [Creating Culture is] the only option if we're serious about fulfilling the Great Commission and incarnating the gospel.
  • At the end of the day, the culture will treat the church the way the church treats the culture. And we're not called to condemn. We're called to redeem.
  • It is difficult to demand attention if we don't pay attention. If we talk without listening, what we have to say is viewed as a diatribe. And we'll keep answering questions no one is asking!
  • Sixty percent of Americans who don’t attend church get their theology from movies and music. For better or for worse, musicians and movie makers are the chief theologians in our culture.
  • We have a choice [about movies and music]. We can ignore them. We can condemn them. Or we can dialogue about them.
  • We need to redeem cultural metaphors to communicate the gospel. [Jesus] framed truth in ways that fit within the cognitive categories of his listeners. If we choose to ignore the culture around us, we aren't following in the footsteps of Jesus.
These are some hard truths. If we are not speaking to and redeeming our culture. We are missing our purpose.