Monday, February 21, 2011

preaching, cultural texts, and "gifts of the Lord lie torn"

Here's an excerpt from an important post by Len..

who gets extra credit for soundtracking his post to a vintage Bruce Cockburn song, "Broken Wheel".

preaching and cultural “texts”Posted  by len

Way out on the rim of the galaxy
The gifts of the Lord lie torn.
Into whose charge the gifts were given
Have made it a curse for so many to be born.
This is my trouble.
These were my fathers.
So how am I supposed to feel?
Way out on the rim of the broken wheel.
-Cockburn, Inner City Front, 1981

Culture is a particular “text.” To bring God into the conversation we have to take the text that has read us (Scripture) and use it as a lens to read this other “text.” If we fail to do this work, in the fear that this involvement will somehow taint us, we are not guaranteeing our safety or purity. Rather, failure to engage with the cultural texts around us only ensures that they will impact us subversively – without our awareness and then leaving us highly vulnerable. Cultural exegesis is thus a “deconstructive” project and a way to begin “seeing our seeing.” Human societies are always cultural projects, and we are embedded and influenced in ways outside our awareness. In order to live as communities faithful to the gospel we have to become aware of the cultural texts we live within so that we can resist where necessary, and affirm where possible..  -Len Hjalmarson, continued

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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!