Wednesday, February 10, 2010

stuff that is forming me on a snowy day

It's the final month of my undergrad class and I've got a 10-12 page paper hanging over my head.  These excerpts from this week's reading combine dual passions:  lives transformed at the feet of Jesus and the expression of worship through the arts.

Senegalese drummers
The emerging Mongolian church looked far different from any of our team's home churches in Sweden, Russia or America. Dramas and testimonies quickly became prominent features of the large celebration meetings...The "drama team" wrote and produced their own skits, plays and dramatic dances from Bible stories and everyday Mongolian life. This became a powerful teaching and evangelistic tool. Time was always set aside for testimonies from "real Mongols" -- often new believers in their '60s just come from the steppes. These long and, to Western ears, rambling stories of salvation gripped the fellowship in a state of rapt wonder and awe. God was on the move among their people--dressed in the most traditional of Mongolian clothing. worship rose from their hearts as they sang new songs written by their own people in their own language and unique musical style. This was no foreign fad or import!  (Brian Hogan, Distant Thunder)

American bluegrass

The salt metaphor also means Christians (like salt) must spread out and penetrate to be effective. We not only affect the world as a counter-cultural community ("light") but also as dispersed indivduals who take the Christian message and worldview into every circle and sector of society. The salt metaphor leads me to borrow a phrase from James Hunter that strikes what I think is the right balance in our relationship with culture. Hunter speaks of Christians' faithful presence -- not cultural absence, nor cultural "redemption." We should not be as pessimistic about cultural change as some believers, nor as triumphalistic and confident as others. (Tim Keller, Cities and Salt)

Senegalese weaver

The church's gospel ministry includes both evangelizing non-believers and shaping every area of believers' lives with the gospel,but that doesn't mean that the church as an institution under its elders is to corporately carry out all the activity that we equip our members to do. For example, while it should disciple its church members who are film-makers so that their cinematic art will be profoundly influenced by the gospel, the church should not operate a film production company -- that should be done by the film-makers themselves.  (Keller)

American sculptors

I'm eager to learn more from Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church.  Expect more on the subject in this space!

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