There are two extremes on the cultural engagement spectrum. At one end there are Christians who are no longer being shaped by the Bible but by their surrounding culture. At the other end are Christians who denounce everything in culture as wrong.
My observation is that reformed evangelical Christians are more likely to fall into the latter. We run in the opposite direction from culture. We create Christian schools, home schools, Christian contemporary music, Christian sports comps, Christian monastic communities (sometimes in the guise of a theological college), Christian political parties and the like.
I’ve been reminded a number of times lately of a quote from Francis Schaeffer that has stuck with me. It’s the final paragraph in a chapter describing the despair experienced in the lives of 19th and 20th century artists. As I first read the chapter I began to laugh at the desperate things done by some of the artists. That was until the final paragraph. A timely rebuke:
These paintings, these poems, and these demonstrations which we have been talking about are the expression of men who are struggling with their appalling lostness. Dare we laugh at such things? Dare we feel superior when we view their tortured expression in their art? Christians should stop laughing and take such men seriously. Then we shall have the right to speak again to our generation. These men are dying while they live; yet where is our compassion for them? There is nothing more ugly than a Christian orthodoxy without understanding or without compassion. (The God who is there)
3 warm fuzzies up for grabs. 1) name of artist above. 2) name of painting. 3) museum where it’s hung. (one per person)