I recently came accross an engaging article in the New York Times. The news story, "New Cultural Approach for Conservative Christians: Reviews, Not Protests" (registration required), examines the shift among evangelicals in our approach to movies. It demonstrates a growing maturity in interacting with popular culture. The newswriter points out:
This critical ambivalence represents a change in the way conservative Christians engage popular culture, said Robert Johnston, a professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical institution, in Pasadena, Calif. Until recently, he said, Christian groups would have ignored a sexually explicit movie like "Brokeback Mountain" except to protest it.
"Ten years ago, conservatives would say 'Schindler's List' should not be shown because of its nudity," said Professor Johnston, adding that he had not yet seen "Brokeback Mountain." "But just as in the wider culture, evangelicals as a group are becoming more sophisticated in their interaction with popular culture. There's been a recognition within the evangelical community that movies have become a primary means, perhaps the primary means, of telling our culture's stories. For this reason, evangelicals have become much more open to good stories, artfully told, but they also want stories whose values they can affirm or understand."
I applaud this new approach. At the same time, we must always be vigilant in our discernment. I am concerned with Christians uncritically imbibing popular culture. We need to continually remember the wise counsel of the Apostle John: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)
(Originally posted at the A-Team Blog: http://ateam.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2005/12/29/1532034.html )
posted at 12:27 PM