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.


Bob said...

Hello Rob,
I saw your comment on the Jesus creed and then came over on your site to read that article on 1Pet by Volf. I think that is the best cultural, church analysis I've ever read. Christ and Culture by Neiubur book didn't seem that good in its analysis of culture.

You were wondering how many good works are nessecary to maintain relationship with God. Some of the answers are provided by the two books that you mention "Everything Belongs" and "Dark Night of the Soul" by Gerald May We are already imensly loved by God and have nothing to do to enhance that standing. I know in my life I had to make sure I had years of foundational love of God in my soul and come to a peace that I'm already pleasing him. I don't know what to make of the biblical texts that stress works. I think works naturally flow from a relationship with God. In the sheep and the goats parable in Matt. the righteous weren't even aware they were doing good works,
I hope this helps.

RoboPA said...

Hi Bob,
Yeah, I tend to see it that way too. A deep and loving faith that saves (present and future) is inseparable from a life of love and service to God and others. Maybe the issue is the false dichotomy we sometimes try to draw between faith as mental agreement and works as something we to do earn God's favor. Alot of that "faith vs. works" thinking was a Protestant reaction to abuses in Catholicism I believe. That is where the New Perspective on Paul has been helpful in seeing that Paul was really not opposed to works (as we think of them, i.e. service to others), but rather works as identifies and boundary markers of Judaism.


Where are the other follow on posts to this?



RoboPA said...

Yeah, about that. Real life got in the way, so it's a bit delayed. I'll try and get moving on it again.