Posted by: Yvonne | January 12, 2009

Cultivating Christian Truth

cultivator13At the end of the first third of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, by Andy Crouch, the readers are asked two interesting questions. 


“Why aren’t we known as cultivators–people who tend and nourish what is best in human culture, who do the hard and painstaking work to preserve the best of what people before us have done?  Why aren’t we known as creators–people who dare to think and do something that has never been thought or done before, something that makes the world more welcoming and thrilling and beautiful?” [page 97-98]

By the pronoun, “we”, Crouch means Christians.  He is asking why Christians are not known as cultivators and creators of culture.  He proposes that Christians should be making our world more ‘welcoming and thrilling and beautiful’.  In a recent interview, Crouch states, what I believe, to be his thesis for this book,

“…*all* of us are created to be culture makers in the image of a creative God.”

I would like to propose that these two questions are peripheral.  Whether or not Christians cultivate or create culture is NOT what we have been commanded to do!  Nowhere in God’s word are we given any such idea despite Crouch’s attempt to fit Scripture into his theory. 

Don’t get me wrong!  Obviously, Christians have made a tremendous offering to our culture by way of the arts.  For example, rembrandts-prodigalconsider godly hymns like, Amazing Grace, that transcend the din of today’s ‘musical’ offerings.   And literature like Bunyan’s 17th century biblical allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress, which is still being read by many.  Artists like Michelangelo and Rembrandt have been known for centuries their masterpieces.  (Not to mention the numerous Christian scientists who have explored our universe in order to better understand God and His creation.)

The difference is that these artists where creating in response to their love for the Lord Jesus.  They were using their gifts to glorify Him,  not to change culture or make it a more exciting place to live.

Jesus makes it powerfully clear what He is expecting of His followers. 

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
(Matthew 28: 19-20)

The truth is Christians are to be about the Lord’s business:  sharing the Gospel and making disciples in obedience to His Word. 

Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 
(2 Timothy 4:2)

Unfortunately, you will not read about these commandments in this book.  I believe Andy Crouch has missed the mark. 




Read more posts on Culture Making here , here, and here.


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