Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ken Myers on Church and Culture

Some gems from the 9Marks interview:

The Local Church and Cultural Resistance

"A local church, a congregation, is the basic unit of cultural resistance. If we're really going to be counter-cultural, which I think Christians need to be, in order to not be worldly... that's not done just as individuals or as individual families, but you need a community of people committed to one another and committed sharing life together to be really counter-cultural."


How can the church be counter-cultural?

"Well, I say first of all, we should be an intergenerational community. People should look at us and realize, 'Those people spend time with their kids and their kids identify with the community, not with their age group.' Intergenerational continuity. I talk about habits of eating. I say we should know how to feast and fast.

"And our language.... Language is one of God's greatest gifts to us. The fact that He speaks creaton into existence, He comes to us as the Word... we ought to have a reverence and delight for language. It's such a wonderful gift. We have 'the world'... has increasingly treated language with disrespect, with carelessness. I think we ought to be people who have the richest linguistic lives. That means we ought to be more conversant with poetry than the average citizen. We ought to be more conversant with well-ordered prose. And not just serious stuff. My daughter has become interested in P.G. Woodhouse, who is one of the best craftsmen of English prose... comic English prose in the 20th century. Language is a source of great fun. It's the kind of pleasure... it's a source of pleasure I think God wants us to have."

On Bad Culture

"Bad culture is dehumanizing. It takes some aspect of human blessedness and corrupts it. The church in its diaconal ministry, I would argue, has a kind of rehumanizing ministry. That we ought to first of all live lives with the capacity for human fulfillment... that take that fulfilment most seriously... "human flourishing" is a phrase that I like. That ought to be evident to our neighbors. They ought to see that we take delight in the gifts that God has given in ways that other people can't."

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