Friday, January 20, 2006

Philippians 4:8 Revisited

Since there was such an underwhelming response to my Philippians 4:8 post (scroll all the way down to the bottom of my blog; it's the second-to-last, which means of course that it was the second blog entry I wrote), I thought I would throw this out for discussion.

In Ken Myers' book, All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes, the author makes an incredibly helpful distinction between three kinds of cultures: pop, folk, and high cultures. He proceeds to point out the various characteristics of each culture. His conclusion? He certainly does not say that Christians should never engage in pop culture, or enjoy it. He does not say that Christians should be snobs and look down on people who engage in pop culture. He does, however, say that Christians should spend most of their time in the folk and high cultures.

It might be that someone has written a critique of this book. I have not seen it. I would be surprised if anyone could really do a good job at it, because Myers has done his job so thoroughly. In my opinion, Myers is a keen cultural critic, and his message is highly important.

Incidentally, the link between my Philippians 4:8 passage and the book I've been talking about is that most of the ideas for my blog entry came from that book.

In Christ.

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At 1/22/2006 02:26:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

I read your Philippians 4:8 post quite a while after you first wrote it (since I had not found your blog at that time), when you referred to it somewhere else, I think. Natalie's blog?

I thought it was very well thought-out, and it helped me synthesize my own thoughts on the matter, which while much like those you stated, were not as clear and studied :). Now with the apparent link to Myers' book, I am all the more eager to begin it. Hopefully soon. . .

At 1/24/2006 03:56:00 PM , Blogger Bethgem said...

I think of pop culture AS the current folk culture. What do you think of that?

At 1/24/2006 10:34:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

Thank you for the compliment; I do hope my blog entry was stimulating. Yes, hopefully soon...

Reply to Bethgem.

You can define terms however you wish, naturally, so long as you're clear about them. The next step is to analyze those definitions. I'm not sure I prefer to label pop culture as the current folk culture, even though in many ways that would make sense. I think I object mainly because the characteristics of pop culture that Myers brings out are very different from those of the folk culture of, say, 100 years ago. Indeed, folk culture in 1906 was something distinct, though not terribly separate from high culture. So if you label pop culture as the current folk culture, what are you going to call the folk culture of yesteryear? One thing might happen with that definition: you might get some people rather confused. So, I have to admit that I'm not terribly hot about it. So, convince me that this definition is a good one. :-)

In Christ.

At 1/31/2006 03:20:00 PM , Blogger Bethgem said...

Okay. I'll think about it and get back to you, but I haven't read Myers' stuff, so I'm not sure it would be pertinent to that. Is that Ken Myers of Mars Hill?

At 1/31/2006 10:26:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Bethgem.

I'll look forward to your reply. Yes, that is the same Ken Myers of Mars Hill. I think he is a rather remarkable cultural critic. Very astute. I'd be interested in your opinion, should you, in all your copious spare time ;-), decide to read him.

In Christ.

At 2/02/2006 12:36:00 PM , Blogger Bethgem said...

Ha ha. I wrote a reply to you that I hope to post on my blog, but we all know just how pleasant a baby crying at the library is, so, we'll see.

I listen to the Mars Hill Audio Journals and enjoy them very much.


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