I plan on writing a review of Culture Making once I’m done reading it, but I wanted to write an article on one of Andy Crouch’s points because I think it’s worth emphasizing.
He makes the statement that “real culture making… begins with a decision about which cultural world… we will attempt to make something of.”1
Most of us do not automatically think about culture this way. Usually we think about “the culture” as though it is the society we live in. As Christians, we want to change “the culture.” Many would consider someone “cultured” when they are actively engaged with fine arts or have travelled abroad extensively, usually referring to experiencing ethnic diversity.
However, Andy Crouch is trying to correct our way of thinking about culture. He is referring to the cultural worlds that make up our society. When we want to make a difference in the world and “change the culture,” what we really need to be asking is what part of culture should we be focussing on. Rather than changing the culture, we are changing a culture. Our society is made up of lots of different cultures.
I love this. Here’s why: it has helped me feel more secure about pursuing a specific pastoral role. Since beginning to engage with Crouch through both a conference held at Prairie a few months ago, and through his book, I have become more confident in focussing on family ministry. The family is a very important cultural world in all societies, and I am quite concerned about the health of the culture of family, particularly in the church.
Andy Crouch asks his readers to consider which cultural world we want to make something of. I think this is a great question to consider, particularly for church leaders, but also for anyone who wants to transform their society.
More on Crouch and Culture Making toward the end of January.
- From page 48 of the 2008 paperback edition. [↩]