Engaging With Culture

South Austin Museum of Popular Culture by Beth (mirsasha) on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

South Austin Museum of Popular Culture by Beth (mirsasha) on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

When Paul went to Athens and spoke with people about the Gospel, It is clear he understood the local culture and related the Good News to it. (Read Acts 17:16-34.) He knew their poetry and philosophy, for example.

Similarly, we need to understand our culture today, if we are to share about Jesus Christ in a relevant and meaningful way. The journalist and poet Steve Turner gives ten reasons in his recent book Popcultured why we should take popular culture seriously in our mission:

1. Many Christians wrongly think that faith and popular culture have nothing to do with each other;

2. People often make popular culture with the intent of altering perceptions;

3. Popular culture is a great gift to us and we should take it seriously;

4. Christ is the Lord of all of life;

5. Most of us spend a good proportion of our lives having our thoughts prompted by popular culture;

6. Popular culture can be a useful barometer of the spirit of the times;

7. Popular culture shows us how our contemporaries are thinking;

8. Unless we first pay attention to popular culture, we have little hope of influencing i;

9. God can address us through popular culture;

10. People who don’t accept spiritual realities are responsible for most of the serious thinking about popular culture.

What do you think of these reasons?

And if you accept Turner’s argument, where might you go for worthwhile Christian input to help you? He lists various books and websites, but one he misses – especially for UK Christians – is Damaris. They have been at the forefront of relating the Gospel to popular culture (especially films) for over a decade now. You might like to check out their website.


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