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Vanhoozer on How to Interpret Our Culture

A review of the book "Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends"

People have long loved vampires, but they've never loved them more than in 2008 and 2009. From Stephenie Meyer's young-adult vampire-romance novels to HBO's television series True Blood, the world can't spend enough time with these fanged friends.

Here's something I've noticed in the world of music: more and more women (Pink, Britney Spears, and Rihanna, in a sad bit of irony) are singing songs that champion violent defiance—a sort of feminism on steroids.

I'm not sure what to make of the rise of Judd Apatow (the brains behind movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up). His comedies have taken the cinematic world by storm—works that revel in the ribald while thoughtfully acknowledging society's desperate need for responsible males.

And what about the wild popularity of social networking sites? In any given family in America, it's likely that both 9-year-old Sally and 90-year-old Grandma have a Facebook account.

You might not think much about these matters. But I do. And ...

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Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

Onorio Chaparro

August 03, 2009  8:11am

Great article but I think that there is something not analyzed - the cultural hermeneutics of the authors. What are presuppositions, assumptions, and the context of the author. Perhaps some study as well into how "culture" helps shape our interpretation and application of Scripture. Just a thought.....

Michael Buyung Santoso Raditya

July 28, 2009  2:02am

Thank you for the article. I am persuaded to get the book. More importantly, I share the conviction on the importance of understanding our culture.

Clark Phillips

July 23, 2009  11:45am

This is a subject that requires extensive self-examination. Though we are not of the world, we are in it. Thus, it would behoove us as follower's of Christ, who first loved us while we were yet His enemies, to seek to emulate the example He set for us. By carefully becoming familiar with the trappings offered by our culure, we can serve as God's hands and feet to a lost world more effectively. As Leon has wonderfully stated, "being in touch with the cultural context of our preaching audience."

Leon Williams

July 21, 2009  3:43pm

an enlightening article that includes the pros and cons of the book. I think one can profit from reading the book. As preachers we are called to serve our generation....which means being in touch with the cultural context of our preaching audience.

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