We are shaped by what we are exposed to. We are also not to be siloed and bubbled so afraid to be exposed to points of view or narratives that are in opposition than ourselves, fearful to be challenged.
Theology and Culture – Are they separate entities? Or can they coexist – or be intertwined?
Think: No place is ‘un-theological’ – think Rob Bell – Everything is Spiritual. God is everywhere. I grew up with the teaching that there was HOLY/Theological and it was distant from Culture. They didn’t mix, because our culture is somehow bad or evil. God would not want to be touching it because He is perfect. He is HOLY. But if we subscribe to this belief, how can we effectively be where God is working around us? (God does not hide behind stained glass windows.)
I need to be comfortable in my own skin – and not be fake when I engage with people around me. I need to know what I like from culture, and be ok with liking it. (Starwars, DC vs Marvel, Game of Thrones, Coldplay, 80’s music, rap music, etc.) I also need to be ok with what I don’t like from the culture around me. I don’t have to succumb to pressure to like or dislike something. I do need to be discerning though, about how what I like shapes me.
I need to be open to seeing what those around me are being formed by – what are THEY seeing? What are THEY watching? What is this causing in them? What is it feeding in them? What is forming people?
There is no territory in our life that is unspiritual. Always be looking to see where God’s kingdom is coming, always be looking for the small details – mustard seeds – the Kingdom of God is not always flashy or easy to see.
Work hard to read and engage outside of your bubble.
Theology and Culture Part II
On doing and getting the work done: Deadlines matter to getting things done. When you feel like you have a wide timeline, limitless space to work with – you will find it hard to create successfully. https://youtu.be/eH4NhlxSrOw
Simplicity. Tight focus. Don’t be fooled by the 4 years you have before you – you’ve got to drill down and create limits and deadlines for yourself AND DO THE WORK. Grit matters to your success.
Protect and practice your sabbath. I need space that is not filled with anything that has to do with work, study, reading for work or reading for study etc – I must have space to play and have fun and relax.
Theology and Culture II
Look to the myths that are the heart of our country, and our society. We say that we are atheistic society now – that we have left God behind. But myths remain, and myths contain belief, religious belonging, the irrational…
Ex. The myth of progress.
It is important that we learn how to spot and engage with the myths out there that are driving society.
- Sabbaths – set them. Keep them. Protect them. ENJOY them. Our brain needs space where it is not occupied with study, reading, ministry, work etc.
- Everything is spiritual – I need to be comfortable with the things I nerd out about from our culture – Star Wars, The Lord of The Rings, and also to be comfortable sharing what I enjoy and have fun with. Spiritual does not equal stoic and serious and irrelevant/distant. Having and developing this kind of authentic thinking/living will help us better engage with those around us as we seek to serve them.