Tag Archives: Articles on Culture

Don Hustad, cultural decay, children's ministry, Christian citizenship, and more – Week in Review (7/13)

Don Hustad, cultural decay, children's ministry, Christian citizenship, and more – Week in Review (7/13)

Here are this week’s posts in case you missed something: Articles Songs without words Some cautions on children’s ministry Relevance is irrelevant (Part 10) Christian Citizenship Today News & Reviews Ask Doug: What are your thoughts on youth groups? – YouTube Fundamentalism, dispensationalism, Kuyperianism, and 2K ACCC Exec. Warns against Kevin Bauder What does church… Continue Reading

Why do we assume that music alone is immune from cultural decay?

Why do we assume that music alone is immune from cultural decay?

That culture in America is decaying is no secret to conservative Christians. Recent events surrounding homosexual marriage has once again pushed this realization to the forefront for we who have high moral standards rooted in the Word of God. But marriage isn’t the only cultural issue under attack; conservative Christians recognize the slow (and ever… Continue Reading

What does race have to do with worship?

What does race have to do with worship?

A few weeks ago I wrote about common straw man arguments that make their way into most debates about worship and music, and I cautioned against using them. As David rightly pointed out last week, worship wars will always be with us and are often necessary, so it is ever the more important that we not… Continue Reading

Distorting the building blocks of worship

Distorting the building blocks of worship

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Building Blocks of Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I suggested that the basic building blocks of worship worship established in the creation/fall events: (1) God reveals himself and initiates a relationship with his people; (2) God forms the boundaries of the relationship with his commandments; (3) the nature of worship consists in this relationship of communion between man and his Creator; (4)… Continue Reading

From Palestrina to Pino

From Palestrina to Pino

I think you should watch these. Set aside a few hours, and enjoy. . If you hunt, you might find most or parts of the eight episodes online. Or you might simply splurge and give the BBC some more filthy lucre for the two series on DVD. You won’t be disappointed. If for no other… Continue Reading

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 4)

Relevance is irrelevant (Part 4)

This entry is part 4 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 I believe that the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians ought to guide our thinking concerning the relationship of our efforts to minister the grace of Jesus Christ and so-called cultural relevance. This series has been slowly working through those chapters, seeking to understand the words of Paul, and then… Continue Reading

Are NT “Behavior”-related Terms Equivalent to “Culture”?

Are NT “Behavior”-related Terms Equivalent to “Culture”?

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Toward a Biblical Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

So far I have argued that neither “race”-related terms and “world”-related terms in the NT approximate the anthropological idea of “culture.” A third category of NT terms that could parallel the contemporary concept of culture is terms related to behavior. Such terms include terms most often translated as “behavior, “conduct,” or “way of life.” Among… Continue Reading

Why Church Feels The Way It Does

Why Church Feels The Way It Does

All cultures and subcultures move through stages, and evangelicalism is, among other things, a distinct subculture of Christianity. In cultural terms, a classical period is a time when all the parts of a community’s life seem to hang together, mutually reinforce each other, and make intuitive sense. By contrast, a decadent period is marked by… Continue Reading

The Missional Philosophy of Culture

The Missional Philosophy of Culture

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Missional Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Inherent in the missional church’s insistence upon incarnation and contextualization is the idea that no aspect of culture is inherently sinful, or at very least unredeemable. Missional proponents believe that there are very few aspects of human culture that are actually sinful in and of themselves; they might cite pornography or something similar as an… Continue Reading

Doth not the mind often leave them before the Lord?

Doth not the mind often leave them before the Lord?

A couple weeks ago, I commented on how important it is for Christians in an age of Internet and media distractions to learn to wean ourselves off the habits of a short-attention span culture and cultivate the practice of attention to and appreciation of sustained discourses in texts and sermons. And this holds true, not… Continue Reading

T. David Gordon: “It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him.”

T. David Gordon: “It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him.”

“It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him,” is the apt comparison of T. David Gordon in response to whether or not church music should be “seeker-friendly.” In an interview with Christianity Today‘s Mark Moring that springs from his book Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns, Gordon makes the case for traditional worship. Among other… Continue Reading

The Internet, Short Attention Spans, and Preaching

The Internet, Short Attention Spans, and Preaching

Our attention spans are shrinking. This is not news, and perhaps I’ve already lost you. Thoughtful people have said that the impressive array of media and entertainment consumption portals play an important role in the attention spans of individuals, especially children and young adults. For example, Jason Fertig writes, Many modern media trends have done… Continue Reading

The Christian and Nakedness in Art

The Christian and Nakedness in Art

Recently, I came across an article entitled “Art, Nakedness, and Redemption” by William VanDoodewaard, a church history professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. In this thought-provoking treatment, he inquires how the believer ought to treat visual media which portray human nakedness — whether in classical and Renaissance art, or in modern cinema. Somehow, I suspect… Continue Reading

To harmonize the affections

To harmonize the affections

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

And all would serve, the more speedily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a relish for those things, which belong to civilization and refinement. Another thing, which properly belongs to a Christian education, and which would be unusually popular with them, and… Continue Reading

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Jonathan Edwards very much wanted to see the American Indians believe the gospel. His famous grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, had published in 1723 a sermon asking Whether God is not angry with the country for doing so little towards the conversion of the Indians? After being ousted at Northampton over the communion controversy in 1750, his… Continue Reading

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In my handful of posts this month, I want to give some anecdotes from church history to inform us as to how missionaries, attempting to plant indigenous church, should approach the issue of music in the culture in which they minister. My posts will not always touch on music per se, but instead explore the… Continue Reading

Paul and Cultural Critique: Titus 1:12-13

Paul and Cultural Critique: Titus 1:12-13

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In relation to critiquing other cultures in an age of cultural relativism, Titus 1:12-13 caught my eye a couple of years ago as I was working through this passage, in particular, Paul’s quotation in 1:12, and his estimation of it in 1:13. The quotation which Paul gave is from a Cretan poet, Epimenides: “Cretans are… Continue Reading