~ 2 October 2003 ~

The Trivialization of God

I stumbled upon an article, written about a year ago, by GQ magazine editor Walter Kirn. Kirn decided to delve into the Christian subculture, which he calls “Ark culture.” Kirn’s article offers us a no-holds-barred look of how the world sees Christianity (especially the Christian sub-culture) that I think would be good for all Christians to take note of. I’ll warn you, this article is not for the faint-of-heart. You’ll probably find more than one of your toes being stepped upon (don’t worry, only my little toe got squashed–the one that goes “wee wee wee” all the way home). Remember, however, that Kirn is writing as an outsider—he doesn’t get everything right, but he does observe a few things that should alarm Christians. One observation in particular:

The problem is lack of faith. Ark culture is a bad Xerox of the mainstream, not a truly distinctive or separate achievement. Without the courage to lead, it numbly follows, picking up the major media’s scraps and gluing them back together with a cross on top.

I think that much of what goes on in “Christendom” is dangerous to the faith, and trivializes the God we serve. If you’d like to read more about this, you can read a paper I wrote earlier this year called “Christian Kitsch and the Trivialization of God.” [Word document] In it, I argue that the kitsch that is so prevalent in the Christian subculture portrays God in a manner that is unworthy of his glory.

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