Since school hasn’t been particularly pressing, I have had the luxury of reading for fun. I have started reading Andy Crouch’s book, “Culture Making.” I’ve wanted to read Culture Making for a while, and since I am currently living in a different culture, there is no time like the present! In his book, Crouch talks about the many ways that Christians can engage with their culture. The options that he discusses are critiquing, condemning, copying, consuming, and creating culture. Crouch contends that while there are many different responses to culture, the only way to truly change culture is to create it. It makes sense if you really think about it. I can talk about how much I hate raunchy movies, I can avoid watching them. I can critique their flaws, but unless a viable alternative is offered, that culture won’t change. (Unfortunately, there are no Rachel DeRoos films currently in the works 😉 ). This concept is true on the smaller scale as well. Rather than hiding from culture, and staying “holy” tucked away our homes, you and I have been blessed with the opportunity to follow Jesus’ example, and engage in the culture God has placed us in.
The “Rachel DeRoos” culture is one that is weirdly obsessed with terrariums, easily geeks out about psychology, loves a good taco, and would be content to spend hours in a library. Unique, but nothing earthshaking. But there is another part of “Rachel DeRoos” culture: the part that finds her truth, worth, and rest in who Jesus is. The part that just wants to know Jesus. The part that tries to follow him regardless of the difficulties. The part that won’t compromise, regardless of the setting. I genuinely hope that those aspects of my culture create culture.
I have been made much more aware of my culture since being here in England. I’m the only one in my flat who drinks coffee, or enjoys a good PB & J (so American!). But more deeply, I have chosen to spend my time, and live my life much differently than most college students. And that is just fine. We are called to live noticeably differently.
Andy Crouch puts it well when he says:
“God’s plan for history had never been to escape from history.”
But he wasn’t the first one to think of this:
“You are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
P.S. How are you creating culture today?