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Monday, March 23, 2015

Hey, Alan Noble, I Had A Few Thoughts!

I took your survey; let's see if you can tell which one is me! I suppose I would rank as a "critic," although that sounds absurd in my ears. Christ and Pop Culture is better than Christianity Today. I believe in your mission, and I like your tone, although my main criticism is that I know you don't want that tone to be an end in itself.

If this magazine had a genesis as a cultural counter-reaction to the rise of the Religious Right--even if not consciously from the Left--this would explain the criticism from the Right, some of which I share, when I'm in the mood. I think the most important thing to say is that the Religious Right can't be faulted for being involved; they can be faulted (maybe) for losing the message of Christ while they became involved.

Art makes culture, and culture makes politics. As I think about it, it's not only the political Right that lost the true Christian anthropology; the Left did, too. You're not only speaking into a culture; you're creating one. What culture are you trying to create?

What does "evangelical" mean? If it must mean, "non-Catholic," then CaPC is already dead. The culture created by a Protestant conversionist soteriology died at least a decade ago. But the culture has done for us what 500 years of dialogue has never done: they made us one. They see us as united in the mission of killing their buzz, taking away their freedom, and being the voice of what they perceive as condemnation. Pardon the us-vs.-them tone here, it's just that, well, the limit of cultural engagement is exactly at the places where the culture is not in Christ.

You can't call the "Church" back to the "gospel," because, on both counts, there isn't one. The people you want to reach have made you one with Christ and the Church in their minds, but you haven't. There might even be a kind of unity internally at CaPC, but it is only supposed. What if the alleged timidity of CaPC is a product of this ecclesial reality, as much as a conscious choice?

A few thoughts. Keep up the good work. Reflectively, of course.

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