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Culture consumption verses culture creation

July 16, 2013

Tim Chester

The cultural mandate is the term used to describe the call in Genesis 1 to take the ‘stuff’ of creation and create culture: agriculture, science, art, technology, architecture and so on. It is a call to create as those made in the image of the Creator.

Yet when Christians speak of engaging with culture we typically mean consuming culture with discernment. We teach one another how to analyse and evaluate culture in its myriad forms. This is right and important. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we are not confirmed to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2). (‘The world’ is the New Testament’s terms of what we call ‘culture’.)

Culture consumption versus culture creation

But cultural analysis is not a fulfilment of the cultural mandate. We are not called to be consumers of culture. We are called to be creators of culture.


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