Prudence, Space and Diversity

Well, folks, I’m going to wuss out on you.  My schedule doesn’t allow me much time to ponder and interact with this week’s reading for Cindy’s book club chapters 2-3 discussion. In lieu of deep thoughts, I give you snippets.

Culture has very much to do with the human spirit.  What we find beautiful or entertaining or moving is rooted in our spiritual life. 
(This quote is going in my journal.  The implications are profound.)

Many of the decisions we make about our involvement in popular culture are not really questions about good and evil.  When I decide not to read a certain book, I am not necessarily saying that to read it would be a sin. It is much more likely that I believe it to be imprudent to take the time to read that book at this time in my life. 
(“But is it wise?” is a question I need to plow deep into my thoughts.)

In observing the Sabbath, man was culturally structuring time in accordance with a holy pattern.  This was part of his cultural commission, along with the task of being an architect in space by tending the Garden.   Space and time were thus consecrated by man’s original culture. 
(I’m used to thinking about how I spend my time as a wisdom issue; the wisdom involved in structuring my space is a new twist.  Hmmm.)

It is interesting to note that Scripture records an amazing amount of cultural activity in the line of Cain.
(Mentioned in Cain’s line: urban life, nomadic life, music and foundry. My thoughts spread like tendrils contemplating the ramifications.)  

The experience of human culture in all its diversity is the way we enjoy being human. It is being human, not being saved–it is the image of God in us, not regeneration–that establishes the capacity to recognize the distinctions between the beautiful and the ugly, between order and chaos, between the creative and the stultifying. 
(Does this explain why Christian stuff can be so cheesy and outclassed by the creativity of non-Christians? And how does this quote mesh with the first quote?  I like to think that I love diversity; I like diversity from a distance, for sure, diversity in a controlled setting.)


10 thoughts on “Prudence, Space and Diversity

  1. Oh, Carol. I just read this after returning home from my Milton class, after spending most of my day reading Milton and the 50-pg. introduction, so my mind is having a hard time processing this. But I love the first quote that you’re putting in your journal. I like that these things are all linked, the beauty of it all. Thanks.

  2. I think the first and last quotes have a little trouble meshing….because I always understood that it was indeed my spiritual eyes and ears that allowed me to see and hear God in all things; and that without that I could not properly distinguish between good/bad or beautiful/ugly.Oh well.  Enjoy your long weekend with the new grandbaby.  We look forward to hearing about it!

  3. Carol, As regards the 1st and last quotes, what is the role of the Holy Spirit?  Does the Spirit help us discern beauty or only convict us of sin?  Is it a sin to be ugly? These are truly questions that belong to The Great Conversation.

  4. You made me think again about that concept of structuring space in wisdom. I think I am much more careful with my time than I am with my space. Somehow, I completely missed that aspect the first time I read it. Thanks for pointing it out. 😉

  5. For the last comment I would say that we can’t recognize the ugly without the beautiful to compare it to, likewise, in literature anyway, the good can’t be good without the bad. . .  a man I once worked with warned that you can’t trust a book/story that doesn’t have a truly bad bad character. I think this is where a lot of Christian lit fails, it’s like the author can’t write bad because it implies knowledge of and recognition of evil, knowledge or recognition doesn’t imply guilt! And as a Christian I read secular works with a ‘saved’ eye, this helps me see God’s fingerprints all over works that weren’t necessarily written to glorify Him, it doesn’t keep His hands off things! I bet you are having the time of your life with that baby!

  6. Applechexx,This is interesting. Because of a brouhaha at my own blog, I am sneaking over here to say something that I can’t say there. I wonder if many of the people on the Internet today have lost their perspective because they aren’t reading the right sort of books, as CS Lewis would say?

  7. The inconsistency between the first and last quotes you have troubled me, too. If culture is an expression of religion, shouldn’t we strive for a Christian culture? Can’t a Christian culture exist even if not everyone in it is a believer? The space insight is a good one. It matters what my home looks like. I only just realized that a few months ago. There’s a good reason for me to want it to be both beautiful and clean, even if I can’t always keep it that way.

  8. @Dominionfamily – Yes, I would agree! No Christian author, that I have encountered anyway, wrote better ‘bad’ guys! His perspective was good, and he created great characters both good and bad because they are believable, even floating around in space!

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