We talk about engaging or changing the culture. Carl R. Trueman says that this is beside the point: We have no culture. All we have is an anti-culture. And it is presided over by an “Unholy Trinity”: The entertainment industry, big business, and our legal institutions. [Read more…]
Amy Chua, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has written with Jed Rubenfeld another controversial book about ethnic drive: The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.
Members of certain cultural groups do really well in terms of economic and social success. Others don’t. Those that do, according to the book, have three traits: a sense of cultural superiority; a sense of personal insecurity about measuring up to that superiority; and strong self-discipline and capacity for delayed gratification. We’ll let the Washington Post book reviewer explain after the jump, though I want to make some religious connections. [Read more…]
God becoming man involved more than just His assumption of a human body, but his entry into all of the elements of human life.
So observed Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, the Executive Director of the Commission on Theology & Church Relations of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, in a sermon I heard last week in the chapel at the church headquarters in St. Louis. He was preaching about Jesus at the wedding at Cana. That God became man meant that He went to weddings, that He had obligations to His mother, that He feasted and drank wine. That got me thinking. . . [Read more…]
We often talk about how God works through material elements in the sacraments to convey His grace in Christ. But I came across a quotation that adds a dimension I never thought of before. The water of Baptism is certainly a natural substance, but the bread and wine of Holy Communion do not occur from nature alone. As James K. A. Smith points out, they require culture. And I would add, they require vocation. [Read more…]
Reniqua Allen, in lamenting the passing of The Bill Cosby Show, complains about the way television today depicts black families. In doing so, she makes some observations that have wide applications:
Instead of a real look at black culture, Hispanic culture or any specific culture, we get “uniculture.” That’s how Felicia Henderson, creator of the Showtime series “Soul Food” and a newly minted executive producer of a BET family sitcom “Reed Between the Lines,” describes much of our current television universe. Henderson, who has served as a writer and producer for shows such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Gossip Girl” and “Fringe,” says the major networks often show diverse casts, but not true cultural differences. “I celebrate multicultural casting, but my concern is that these shows and these characters are only physically multicultural, physically multiethnic,” she says. . . .
The worlds they pretend to inhabit are not ones in which anyone really lives. It’s one TV cultural universe, with no room for ethnic difference, even among ethnic characters.
British journalist David Frost once said, “Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”
Exactly! This applies also to the ways television (and most movies) portray all families and all cultures. In the Hollywood universe, everyone of every culture embraces extramarital sex, with no qualms, stigmas, or consequences. No one goes to church, and religion has no influence on anyone’s life. There are no conservatives, except for villains. And children are smarter than adults, especially their parents.