However it's increasingly important that we as Christians learn to think for ourselves and relate to contemporary culture (both church and secular) on the basis of convictions. It's also a valuable skill to be able to articulate and defend those convictions.
I love reading well-thought-out articles on contemporary culture written from a Christian perspective. One writer I've discovered recently who isn't afraid to take up that gauntlet is Dr. R. Albert Mohler (President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). In fact his mission as expressed on the "About" page of his website (www.albertmohler.com) is " to address contemporary issues from a consistent and explicit Christian worldview." He has recently written articles on:
- Christians and yoga ("The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga?").
- The popular trend of non-religious spirituality ("The War Between Spirituality and Science is Over").
- An open letter to Professor Karl Giberson responding to an article in the Huffington Post in which Professor Giberson attacked Mohler personally in Giberson's defense of evolutionary creationism ("On Darwin and Darwinism: A Letter to Professor Giberson). I've just named three; there are many others.
Reading him is challenging me to try my hand at this kind of writing, if for no other reason than to clarify my own thinking on contemporary culture issues and their relationship to my faith. Perhaps you're interested in joining me. Here's how the process could work:
1. Read articles from the daily news and bookmark those that arouse your interest.
2. Choose one.
3. Free-write your reactions to get an understanding of why it caught your attention and why you agree or disagree with the position of the writer.
4. Refine your thoughts until you have articulated a position of your own, to the extent of thinking of and answering objections to your ideas. (I can imagine this step might involve some research.)
5.(Optional) When you're satisfied with what you've said, post your piece on your blog (making sure to publish a link to the original article if it's online) or send it to the publication that ran the catalyst article (perhaps as a letter to the editor).
I'd love to know who your favourite contemporary culture commentators are. If you'd like, share names and links in the comments.
-- Violet Nesdoly
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