Capturing Culture

This weekend I had some rare, uninterrupted down time and found myself scrolling through Netflix to see what I could watch. I found a made-for-Netflix show that was created for my demographic, so I settled in to enjoy it. While it started out relatable and entertaining, it proved to be disappointing, a bit depressing and, to my typically cynical heart, predictable. Yet another show that seems aimed at checking the boxes of stereotypes instead of diving into the subject matters it tackled. 

So then I started thinking about those shows and movies that I feel really have been relatable and life-giving, even if not portraying a Christian perspective (Friday Night Lights, anyone?). There are some movies and music that while perhaps never intending to point me to Christ, do just that, almost inescapably for me and I wondered if you – yes you, reader – could share some places where you are finding stories that speak well to the heart of our creator and the heart of how he made us as humans. 

Let me zoom out for a minute.  

As Christians we echo the belief that St. Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, R.C. Sproul and others have carried throughout the centuries: All truth is God’s truth. While that belief does not minimize the authority of scripture, it does broaden our worldview to see how things in the secular world can also reflect the nature and glory of God. This shouldn’t be altogether surprising, since all humans are created in God’s image and we know as believers that all humans fundamentally want the same things. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can discern what storytelling, art, and intellectual exercises in our culture are pointing us toward God’s truth. 

So, back to the search for such stories. I’m not pretending that all culturally created things are good (or that they’re all bad, either), but rather I want to engage with that culture where I can and be an agent of change for creating the good news culture we’ve just been discussing on Sunday mornings. 

An example to get you started:

  • Songland on NBC. While not every lyric of every song being created is necessarily something to get on board with, the beauty of creativity and the brilliance of songwriters and producers reminds me of what a wonderful creator our God is. 

I can talk about the show with friends, family, and neighbors; have singing sessions with my two-year-old to some of the music; wonder at the music writing process and give credit to God for the gifting he gives people. 

With that point of view in mind, what are you reading, listening to, watching, or seeing that while secular, brings you a fresh perspective on one of God’s truths? 

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Get to Know the Blogger

What movie could you watch over and over again and still love?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – what teenager or former teenager can’t identify with this one?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – So quotable. So timeless.

What risk are you happy you took?

Friending my now-husband on Facebook. Such a millennial move, but, hey, it worked out well!

What’s one hobby or skill that you’d like to take up?

We inherited four box gardens in the backyard of our house (we bought it less than a year ago.) I’m trying my hand at some vegetables this summer, and would love to get more into gardening, especially since it’s something I can do with my boys as they grow. Plus they can help me with the weeding so I don’t have to do it alone….