Jimmy: What will a “kingdom approach” to popular culture look like in our postmodern society?
TM: It will look like Christians growing in grace, taking seriously their calling to follow Christ in every area of their lives, talking with one another about what in the world is going on around us, working to understand the times in which we live, as these are expressed in pop culture (among other things), enjoying and creating pop culture forms that are pleasing to God and can advance His Kingdom, and using pop culture as a vehicle with which to initiate dialog with the people around us.
Jimmy: Sounds like a lot of work.
TM: Yes, but then the Christian life is a lot of work (Phil 2:12, 13). We can’t choose not to work hard at being Christians. There is a yoke to wear and a burden to bear. We can choose to work hard and smart, however, rather than in a way that has no purpose or bearing on our citizenship in the Kingdom.
Jimmy: What do you mean by “redeeming pop culture”? How do we do that?
TM: Pop culture is a gift of God (Ps. 68:18), but much of it is currently in the hands of the enemy. We need to “liberate” pop culture so that it can join us in the service of the King and His Kingdom. We need to pray about pop culture and those who create it. We should become more intelligently and spiritually involved with pop culture. We should encourage those Christians who are trying to create pop culture forms of real beauty, goodness, and truth. And we should enjoy pop culture in a way that helps us realize more of the fullness of Kingdom life as we journey together to our everlasting home.
Jimmy: Why should youth workers, parents, and students think so hard about pop culture?
TM: Because pop culture is, above all cultural involvement, the culture of young people. It will either overwhelm them and “kudzuize” their entire lives, or we will teach them to enter the arena of pop culture as conquerors and liberators for Christ, ready and able to reconstruct the fastest-growing segment of our culture in a way that reflects the honor, glory, goodness, beauty, and truth of King Jesus.
To be continued…