Artists are able to see beauty before it exists, and bring it into being, taking raw materials such as paint, canvas, clay, metal, fabric, notes, words or movement, and producing something of value. I believe this is what Christians are called to do in culture—take what God has created and produce something of value, which leads to human flourishing and the common good. As Ted Turnau puts it, “God commands us to develop his creation. It makes sense, then, that the Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city.” (Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective, p. 54)
Wanting to avoid the extremes of the Demolition Engineer, many Christians go to the other extreme—a Cheerleader of culture. But this is equally unbiblical and problematic.
My friend was a Demolition Engineer in the Army. He complains that now he can’t enjoy beautiful architecture—his mind immediately goes to where to put the charges in order to destroy the building. This is how many Christians relate to culture.
What is the essence of Christianity? How does being a follower of Christ relate to thinking, to work and to life? Why is this the title of your blog and the topics you address? These are questions I am often asked. So I decided to add a “Definitions” page to my website and offer my answers to these questions.
In my last post, I shared the first reason why it is important to remember Jesus is fully human this Christmas season. The second reason is that we devalue the worth of God’s creation (including ourselves) if we forget his humanity. The incarnation is a constant reminder that God, more than anyone, values the physical world just as much as the spiritual world.