Evangelicals are antimodern only across a narrow front; I write from a position that is antimodern across the entire front. It is only where assumptions in culture directly and obviously contradict articles of faith that most evangelicals become aroused and rise up to battle "secular humanism"; aside from these specific matters, they tend to view culture as neutral and harmless. More than that, they often view culture as a partner amenable to being coopted in the cause of celebrating Christian truth. I cannot share that naivete; indeed, I consider it dangerous. Culture is laden with values, many of which work to rearrange the substance of faith, even when they are mediated to us through the benefits that the modern world also bestows upon us. [page 11, emphasis mine]I subscribe to World Magazine and read it from cover to cover, but I wonder if World does not provide fuel for this mindset, with its incessant reviews of books, music, and movies from pop culture and its spiritualized, less artistic sibling. Perhaps there is benefit in the fact that World confronts some Christians for the first time with the need to filter their entertainment choices through a doxological grid. I find, on the other hand, that I need to remind myself that a positive, family-friendly review ought not to constitute in my mind a valid reason to partake.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Several days ago I finished David Wells' No Place for Truth, Or "Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?" and found myself wishing I had pulled this book off my shelf years ago. O that seminaries had their students reading more of Wells and less of Warren. One of the central themes of his argument is that the Church has drunken deeply from the wells (pun intended) of Modernism, despite protestations to the contrary. I hope to share some selected quotes from time to time in coming days.
Posted by Ben at 7/20/2005