Staublog 1/29/04: God has spoken: Beuchner, Greeley, Lauryn Hill, American Beauty.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son (and by LAURYN HILL [Foto right] Tupac, American Beauty and Joan of Arcadia?).

Yesterday I interviewed Craig Detweiler (Matrix of Meaning-finding God in Popular Culture) and Alex Gee (Jesus and the Hip Hop Prophets).

I also received a review copy of Frederick Buechner’s new book, “Beyond Words.” In it I found this remarkable quote about movies: “In a world where the are no longer books we have almost all of us read, the movies we have almost all of us seen are perhaps the richest cultural bond we have. They go on haunting us for years the way our dreams go on haunting us. In a way they are our dreams. The best of them remind us of human truths that would not seem as true without them. They help to remind us that we are all of us humans together.”

Buechner, Detweiler and Gee were all sounding a related theme. Popular culture forms a cultural bond it is what we have in common. And what we have in common is the basis of effective communication. That is why today’s spiritual journey is mediated through popular culture. It is where we converse about things that matter.

I opened my interview with Craig Detweiler with a quote from Andrew Greeley. “My thesis is simple enough: Popular Culture is a “locus theologicus,” a theological place the locale in which one may encounter God. Popular culture provides an opportunity to experience God and to tell stories of God to, to put the matter more abstractly, to learn about God and to teach about God.”
It is extremely important to understand that in addition to popular culture being a place where we converse about God it is a place where God communicates with us. Theologians call this kind of communication “general revelation” and it is happening today in popular culture. Gee calls Tupac and Lauryn Hill prophets. So while many Christians try to ride out post-modernism in a cocoon, or do combat with it, others are seeing it is a gift which once understood leads to a richer understanding of God and his love for fallen people

Here are a few pieces for the CultureWatcher
¢â‚¬¢ Check out TIME’s article on VH1 Nostalgia on what Gen X has “in common” as a generation that has “lived more media lives in fewer years” and is turning to nostalgia.
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ Violent Video Games Violent Video Games face legal battles.
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ Rosie O’Donnel’s Partner is speaking out.
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ I always argue for the fully integrated life. Here is a fascinating story of an American, Buddhist Translator of Chinese poetry, who ¢â‚¬Ëœgets it” because he ¢â‚¬Ëœlives it,”
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ Finally, don’t miss the Seeker’s on Journey Quotes today from/about: Clint Eastwood, Michael Jackson ( “Jesus Juice?), Andrew Sullivan, Laura Schlessinger, Paul Theroux (on writing) and more!

If you have comments regarding this column please contact us at:

  • CultureWatch: culturewatch@dickstaub.com

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