Recent Quotes

« War & Peace 3: The Just War Theory | Main | Initial Evidence »

September 29, 2006



Thats fine, but we don't have to present him as a middle-aged western valued white guy from the 50s do we? Sometimes it appears that the comparison we are making is flawed because of what our baseline is. So if we don't want to make Christ, or ourselves look cool, what should we do? Should we be 'uncool' on purpose? Does that acheive anything further than any other representation. And lets avoid 'just present the truth' arguments. Everything we do is going to be culturally mediated.

Shane Clifton

I sort of follow your point - obviously the church wants to present a gospel that is relevant to the contemporary era, so that "coolness" can be understood as another way of talking about relevance.

The issue, however, is that it is easy for our missionary zeal to slip into egotism - and i think that this is what Donald Miller is critiquing. I, for one, would be prepared to confess to the need to repent for using the logic of contemporary relevence to mask my own desire to look good. Thank God for grace (he can use my bad motive to accomplish worthwhile things) - but i do need to challenge myself to take up my cross and follow him, a vocation that i suspect is radically uncool.

Joshua Ballard

I mean this statement to be understood with all the dignity that can possibly be afforded to it.

With the last line you wrote, I couldn't help but think of Adam Sandler's character 'Billy Madison', who ran to a tap and proceeded to splash water on his pants so that another child who had wet himself during a school excursion wouldn't be rejected as "uncool".

When Billy Madison did it and was seen by the other School Kids on the Excursion, he announced that "Everybody is doing it, it's the coolest!"

This point is further reinforced for me, when I saw the controversial prison drama "OZ" in which a man confesses to the Prison Chaplain/Priest that he was partially responsible for the death of another inmate, and that he wanted a way to make amends.

When the man communicated his fear of not being able to find a way of making amends, the Priest confronted him and stated:

"Well if you don't find a way, then you really are a[n] [uncool person]"

The "uncool person" bit was obviously rephrased in language that would be confronting to a prisoner who is interested not only in making amends, but keeping up a "tough guy" exterior. (and thus inappropriate for this particular blog)

I think the re-definition of what is "cool" is the responsibility of the Church. Not to capitulate to the definition that is externally imposed on the Church by the world, but to re-present Jesus' offer of salvation as the ultimately attractive (and therefore "cool") proposition.

I think this capitulation has kind of carried throughout Christian tradition with (allegorical?) language of heaven as the place where everyone sits on clouds, has a mansion and has a good time, rather than the opportunity to see and experience God, beatific vision style.

But even this critique is only valid if we capitulate (or have capitulated) the value of material posessions and their representative status to be equal to the values of the world.

I've often wondered what it means to be given a crown by God, when I have been (silently) taught that status symbols are generally inherently immoral.

I think having a crown would be kind of "cool". (Even if the crown is only allegorical)

Bah, cultural mediation. What a pain...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Devotional blog


Feeds & subscription

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Keyword Cloud