Justin Bailey is associate professor of theology at Dordt University and the author of Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture.
What is culture? Sometimes people say we need to "resist culture." But the language of resistance seems to be rooted in fear—and I don’t think we’re meant to react to our culture from a place of fear.
Maybe engaging with culture as the church requires something else. Maybe what it requires is interpretation. And then, maybe it requires thoughtful response and engagement.
In this episode, Justin Bailey helps us dig into these issues--including a really helpful conversation about cancel culture!
THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- Justin Bailey is associate professor of theology at Dordt University and the author of Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture.
- Justin’s books wants to help people understand their culture in a way that recognizes what isn’t life-giving, while also affirming that which is life-giving, generous, and generative.
- Justin Bailey offers two metaphors for understanding culture:
- Culture as a field or soil that nourishes and nurtures certain ideas and practices that can grow.
- Culture as a field of force in which certain things pull, push, and attract one in certain directions.
- Justin Bailey reflects on five lenses for interpreting culture:
- Meaning – How am I connected to the world around me?
- Power – Do I have real choices or am I at the mercy of greater powers?
- Ethics – What does it mean to be a good human?
- Religion – How do I face the anxiety of life and the certainty of death?
- Aesthetics – How do I live a life that is generative and beautiful?
- Outside the church, the lens that is most often used to interpret culture is the power lens. But if this is the only lens we use, we will miss much of what is going on.
- Justin Bailey teaches students to analyze culture theologically in two movements:
- Movement 1 – From Culture
- Movement 2 – For Culture
- According to Justin Bailey, part of the work of ministry leadership is to discern, what might God’s Spirit be doing here in this culture to open people up to the Gospel?
- Justin Bailey discusses cancellation and complication as ways of responding to challenges within culture.
- The danger of an iconoclasm of cancellation is that we put ourselves up on the pedestals in the place of the thing we have dethroned.
- An iconoclasm of complication acknowledges that there is more than one story and things are more complicated than they once seemed.
- An iconoclasm of complication seeks to contextualize.
RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
- Books mentioned:
- Justin Bailey
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