Monday, November 26, 2007

Through New Eyes 4

James B Jordan is a transformationist. He thinks culture matters, and that Christians should develop Christian culture.

One of the arguments against Christian involvement in transforming culture is that cultural produce doesn't last, so is only good in the sense that it can help us to learn how to be more godly, or in as much as it might be useful somehow for evangelism. Jordan's view is different.

This second aspect also gives perspective to the transitory nature of human works. The great paintings of the Reformation era are darkening and cracking with age. Many have been destroyed in wars. Of Bach’s five great Passions, only two are extant. All our works are like castles of sand. Thus, it is sometimes argued that human work in the creation has meaning only in that it trains men: Adam himself is progressively transformed and glorified through the six-fold action. While this touches an important truth, the problem is with the word “only.” By itself, the notion that human labor exists only to train men reduces the value of work only to the subjective dimension. The objective foundation needed is the confession that human labor, if it is ultimately worthwhile, progressively reveals and glorifies God. Even if the artifact does not itself endure, like the crude sketches of a child, the revelation of God and glorification of the creation is cumulative (p124).

Our task is to 'do' the being human/ Genesis 1-2 thing called 'culture' in such a way that God's glory is reflected back to him. That can never be a worthless activity, or useful only in the sense that it morally has an impact on me.

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