Christianity And Popular Culture Essay

2614 words - 10 pages

Christianity and Popular Culture

In his classic work Christ and Culture, H. Richard Niebuhr asserts that the relationship between earnest followers of Jesus Christ and human culture has been an "enduring problem."1 How should believers who are "disciplining themselves for the purpose of godliness" (1 Tim. 4:7) relate to a world whose culture is dominated by "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life" (1 John 2: 16)? Culture is God's gift and task for human beings created in His image and likeness. At creation humanity received a "cultural mandate" from the sovereign Creator to have dominion over the earth and to cultivate and keep it (Gen. 1:26, 28; 2:15). But sin's effects are total, and culture—whether high, popular, or folk—has been corrupted thoroughly by rebellion, idolatry, and immorality. How, then, should Christians, who have been redeemed, "not with perishable things like gold or silver . . . but with precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Pet. 1:18-19) live in relation to culture? According to Jesus in His high priestly prayer, believers are to be in the world but not of it (John 17:11-16). But in what way? How do believers act in and interact with the "crooked and perverse generation" (Phil. 2:15) that surrounds them and of which they are a part?

This is not an easy question, and yet the Church cannot avoid responding to it. Over the centuries, various Christian communities have developed alternative perspectives on this very influential Christ-culture connection. In the extreme, some believers have advocated a complete rejection of culture (Anabaptists, fundamentalists), while others at the opposite end of the ecclesiastical spectrum have promoted a more or less uncritical acceptance of it (liberals of various stripes). Niebuhr refers to these two groups as the "Christ against Culture" and the "Christ of Culture" traditions, respectively. The first group promotes Christ but tends to denigrate culture, while the second group promotes culture but tends to denigrate Christ. Both are unbalanced and are corrected by "Churches of the Center" that seek to do justice to both Christ and culture, though they articulate the relationship between them in different ways.

Roman Catholics tend to view the gospel as the completion of culture. Despite positive contributions, human cultural enterprises always fall short of divine intentions and must be fulfilled by God's gracious work of redemption in Christ and through the Church. Grace, according to this tradition, perfects nature. Christ is above culture and completes it.

Lutherans, on the other hand, prefer to emphasize how the gospel creates remarkable tensions with culture. Christians are citizens of two kingdoms—God's and the world's—and faithfully fulfilling responsibilities to both realms creates enormous, if not impossible, challenges. How difficult it is to render simultaneously the things that are...

Find Another Essay On Christianity and Popular Culture

Connecting Literacy and Popular Culture: Annotated Bibliography

1930 words - 8 pages Popular culture is part of children’s everyday life experiences, embedded in film and news media, cartoons and television programs, in comics, music and advertising (Seiter, 1999; March, 2000 as cited in Ashton, 2005). Yet recognition of popular culture as a valid literacy medium within early childhood contexts continues to be problematic (Ashton, 2005; Shegar & Weninger, 2010; Arthur, 2001). The development of literacy learning begins well

Sex and Violence in Popular Culture

1096 words - 4 pages Note: Watch for spelling and grammar errors.Sex and violence can be seen in many different ways in popular culture. It is not limited to the actions seen in everyday life. It can be seen in many different places. However, although sex and violence in popular culture is simply a manifestation of the populous' evolution, it can still be seen to many as a problem for children because it forces them to grow up too soon.Public broadcast on television

Communications and Popular Culture - English 102-02 - Essay

1290 words - 6 pages Josue 1 Gabriel Josue Professor Kanter ENG 102-02 2017OCT19 Essay Two - Communication and Pop Culture With the help of social media and technology, popular culture has easily influenced us by changing the way we perceive things. Pop culture affects society in many ways. Because of the advancements in technology that we have available to us today, it is now easier to talk to people without being face to face. Social media allows us to share our

Women and Popular Culture of the 1970's

1455 words - 6 pages If we are to understand the popular culture of women in the 1970's we must first go back and see what caused this time period to be one of civil disobedience, voicing new freedoms and revolutionary ideas and celebrating differences. This society was created by genres of the past. It is important to look at these genres, because the past can be reflected in the future.What caused women to voice new freedoms? Had they not tried to voice freedoms

Magazines Play a Role in Popular Culture and Shape Gender

817 words - 4 pages Our society is surrounded by several means that reinforce popular culture. Mass media plays significant roles in reflecting, reinforcing, and changing the dominant systems and ideologies that help shape gender. Women are judged based on their height and weight. Men get a lot of pressure to be muscular and buff. Everyone has pressure to conform to a certain body type. Major sources of these opinions come from television, the internet

Violence, Corruption, and Wealth in American Popular Culture

1278 words - 5 pages -wide and many rap artists have adopted the new title of "pop-artists", pop. meaning "popular culture". A hip hop single recently took the number 1 spot on the Billboard charts for most sales recorded. The problem here is the message many rappers are telling the world. From the beginning, rappers have flaunted their money with the expensive cars seen in their videos and the thick gold chains they wear in public, not to mention

The Impact on Culture of Islam and Christianity

4066 words - 16 pages . As a result, the battle between Christianity and Islam has spilled over into a battle of cultures; the new war being fought between the American culture of non-practicing Christians and the Arab culture of over-zealous Muslims. An important factor of Christianity within the United States is the splinter factions who still identify themselves as part of Christianity. Despite the claims of these splinter groups, the majority of

How and Why Did American Popular Culture Influence Australian Society in the 1950s and 1960s?

745 words - 3 pages During the 1950s-1960s Australia's popular culture was heavily influenced by American culture, trends and images. The 50s and 60s was the era of Rock 'n' Roll, Hippies, Rebellious teenagers, and drugs. These themes were all part of America's culture and were portrayed to the rest of the world as important elements of American culture. These important elements of culture heavily influenced the growing nation of Australia - particularly during

The ruins of America via popular culture in mass media and politics

1319 words - 6 pages The world is full of suffering, inflation, national debt, government cuts, and starving children, but Americans convert their attention to popular culture and the high life of celebrities in the world of so-called reality and entertainment. Americans live in a society where the best drama on television is a high school chemistry teacher tuned meth dealer, and where showing off your private and most intimate body parts and details of your life

Media Studies: Examine the changes in mass media and/or popular culture from the postmodern perspective

1954 words - 8 pages To understand the changes in popular culture from the postmodern perspective, the concept of postmodernism must first be understood. The question of what postmodernism is cannot be easily answered, as postmodernism itself is not a topic that can be easily pinned down.A large number of theorists have tried to define postmodernism, with varied success. Hebdige, (1998) said that "it becomes more and more difficult as the 1980s wear on to specify

Why are Super Bowl Commercials Important and Popular in American Culture?

1429 words - 6 pages Why are Super Bowl commercials important and popular in American culture? The Super Bowl is historically known for having high viewers. There is an average of 112.2 million viewers watching the game (Marketing Charts). Americans are anxious to watch this televised game because there are many high profile companies that broadcast their new commercials and upcoming products. Most of these advertisers are portraying their products as a luxury or as

Similar Essays

Popular Culture And Violent Behavior Essay

11795 words - 47 pages .' The view adopted by Manson is that violence is something which is inbred into society, acquired at birth, propelled by religion and justified in its scruples; he refuses to believe that the majority of people can be directly influenced by popular culture and that it is our own human disposition which draws us to violent acts, regardless of any outward stimulation. Manson carries on by attacking Christianity claiming

Mass Media And Popular Culture Essay

1367 words - 5 pages How has mass media a created a relationship among popular culture, mass media and different forms of dissemination? Mass media is any form of communication used to reach a large group of people. There are different types of media; examples of media are magazines, movies, television, books, recording devices, radio and the internet. As time goes on, new and improved technology is developed in the mass media industry for communicating and

Popular Culture Affect Gender And Sexuality

773 words - 4 pages American Psychological Association, gender and sexuality impacts and is impacted by cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life. As popular culture is the culture of today which is always based on universal activities, it is effortlessly to alter the mind of human so the concept of gender and sexuality would be easier to change. Therefore, this essay is going to discuss about how popular culture affect gender and sexuality in

Connecting Literacy And Popular Culture: Annotated Bibliography

2221 words - 9 pages What are the key arguments for integrating popular culture in literacy education? What issues does this integration raise for literacy education? Children today are growing up in a digital world where their surrounding environments are rich with popular culture, leading teachers to reconsider and respond to new pedagogies for teaching literacy in the classroom (Beavis, 2012; Hall, 2011; Petrone, 2013; Walsh, 2010). Literacy in the 21st