Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jesus & Culture: A LOST Class

As a Sunday School teacher (for lack of a better term), I've wanted to teach two classes for quite some time now. First, I've wanted to teach a class on Culture, particularly how Christians ought to engage with Culture. Second, I've wanted to do something with LOST, because there are all kinds of spiritual themes in the show that would be interesting to flesh out in the light of our faith. Well, last Sunday we began the convergence of these two desires of mine in a class called LOST, Spirituality and Culture. We're taking a look at the spiritual themes of LOST and how Christians should engage with Culture, using LOST as the primary lens.

The first session went really well, I thought. There was a lot of discussion about the show (of course!) and how we, as both Christians and fans of the show, interact with it on a faith-level. The question of Jesus & Culture is an extremely important one, and it gets defined in various ways by various groups of Christians. (See also H. Richard Niebuhr's classic book Christ & Culture.) At one extreme you have Christians who take the stance that Jesus is against everything in Culture, which means no TV, no film, and no music. (Or at least, no secular versions of all this.) On the other end of the spectrum you have Postmoderns who think that Jesus (and the Bible) are just another voice at the table, a mere product of Culture.

My hope is that we can find a middle ground where Jesus is redeeming Culture, where we can find spiritual value in the art, film, music, etc. of the unbelieving world. This is a place where we are not afraid of the media of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, but where we can view it critically and redemptively--where we come to a show like LOST not expecting a full gospel presentation, but rather an artful glimpse of the image of the gospel. If we can manage this perspective, not only will we no longer be so exasperating to a cynical and unbelieving world, but we'll find doors of connection and evangelism opening for us that never would have opened before. Who knows but that God would want to use a silly TV show like LOST to bring some people into his kingdom.


rachelspiegel said...

I might have to drive down to Columbus for a few Sundays... I would LOVE to do a class like this! Any way you guys are recording things??

andy said...

We're not recording it. Sorry. :(