Cultured Christians

There’s a lot of talk these days about “cultural engagement” and how it’s important for Christians to be culture-makers, culture-watchers and culture-advocates. Umpteen books, blogs and conferences have been developed around these themes. And rightfully so. This is an area in which evangelical Christianity has been notoriously apathetic for far too long.

But what does it actually look like to be a “cultured Christian”? And by “cultured,” I don’t mean fashionable, well-heeled aristocrats who frequent the opera and attend gallery openings. I simply mean people who take culture seriously and love it enough to approach it with nuance, intentionality and an open mind. What does it look like to do this Christianly?

It’s my belief that Christians, of all people, should be the best connoisseurs, appreciators, advocates and patrons of culture. Why? Because for Christians, culture—what human beings make of the world—is far more than just an end unto itself. It’s far more than just something that brings glory to man. It’s a means by which we understand, reflect and glorify the Creator God.

To be a “cultured” Christian, then, is not to inordinately elevate or idolize the makings or thinkings of man; it’s rather to see God more clearly and humbly worship him more dearly through the goodness, truth and beauty all around us, in both the natural and cultural world.

What else does it mean to be a “cultured Christian”? Over at Q Ideas, I list “9 Attributes of a Cultured Christian.”

5 responses to “Cultured Christians

  1. I just read C.S. Lewis’ speech on whether Christians should pursue higher education during war time- or at all. And his conclusion was that if you can, you should and that, if approached the right way, intellectual exploration would lead to a greater understanding of God.

  2. Great stuff! I was just writing a blog on what mattered in a church – and this expresses my missing link, what I was struggling to express. May I link you in my blog?

  3. Brett, wanted to say hi. We share an interest in culture…and a last name. Have a look at Chief Culture Officer on amazon if you would, and if it looks useful, it would be my honor to send you a copy. Best, Grant

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