Friday, May 30, 2008

Culture, Starbucks, etc.

I'm currently working on a series of posts addressing a Christian groups protest of Starbucks new retro logo, the one with a mermaid. These posts came out of a discussion that I had with a friend of mine. He sees the protest as justified, I see it as another example of missing the point. The posts will address the two different paradigms at work in this discussion. There is a lot to say about that topic, so that's why the posts are taking some time for me to formulate. In the interim, here's a link to an excellent article by Miroslav Volf, talking about the relationship between church and culture in 1Peter. I think you'll find it an interesting read, and related to the topic of Starbucks, culture, etc.

This paragraph is excellent (emphasis is mine):

We get no sense from 1 Peter, however, that the church should strive to regulate all domains of social life and reshape society in the image of the heavenly Jerusalem. One could argue, of course, that it would be anachronistic to expect such a thought even to occur in the Petrine community. Were they not discriminated against, a minority living in premodern times? Does that invalidate or compromise their stance, however? Why would it? Whatever the reason, the Petrine community was no aggressive sect in the sense of Ernst Troeltsch. It did not wish to impose itself or the kingdom of God on the world, but to live in faithfulness to God and to the values of God's kingdom, inviting others to do the same. It had no desire to do for others what they did not want done for them. They had no covert totalitarian agenda. Rather, the community was to live an alternative way of life in the present social setting, transforming it, as it could, from within. In any case, the community did not seek to exert social or political pressure, but to give public witness to a new way of life.