What is a Culturally Savvy Christian?

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As you know, my new book, the Culturally Savvy Christian has just been released and I’m doing a lot of interviews most recently in The United Methodist Portal

They began the interview with the most common question I’m asked, namely, “What exactly is a Culturally Savvy Christian (CSC)?

A lot of people think of it as being really broadly informed in culture. They have this image of the encyclopedic Christian who knows everything about what’s happening in television, movies and books.

In my view, the first step towards being a CSC has nothing to do with understanding culture¢â‚¬¦it has to do with the centrality of God in your life.

To be a culturally savvy Christian¢â‚¬¦you have to be a Christian who is SERIOUS about faith.

And to be serious about faith means that God is central in your life.

Only people who are serious about faith will see their relationship with culture as something that falls under God’s authority.

The CSC is also savvy–about both culture and faith.

To be savvy means “to get it.” It means we are able to make clear judgments about both the culture and faith in which we are living.

The savvy Christian knows that American popular culture tends towards superficiality, yet is also very influential.

The savvy Christian will also observe the superficiality of much of today’s Christianity.

In this confusing world our ability to be discerning requires that we be savvy–having our eyes are wide open about the strengths and weaknesses of today’s culture and faith.

In addition to being serious about faith, and savvy about faith and culture, the CSC is SKILLED at relating the two.

THE CSC uses discernment skills to evaluating his o her relationship to culture.

The CSC will use discovery skills carefully observing faith and culture to understand each.

THE CSC is a dual listener who is able to listen to both faith and culture and then uses correlative skills to compare & contrast their faith and today’s culture.

THE CSC is bi-lingual, and like the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill is able to use the art of contemporary culture to build a conversational bridge to faith.

So what is a CSC?

A CSC is serious about faith, savvy about faith and culture and skilled in relating the two.

For centuries Christians were known for their intellectual, artistic and spiritual contributions to society. Bach, Mendelssohn, Dante, Dostoevsky, Newton, Pascal and Rembrandt are but a few who personified the rich tradition of faith, producing the highest and best work, motivated by a desire to glorify God and offered in service of others for the enrichment of our common environment: culture.

These were culturally savvy Christians–serious about the centrality of faith in their lives, savvy about both faith and culture, and skilled in relating the two. Their calling was to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who came to the world as a loving, transforming presence.

They transformed culture by fulfilling their roles as creators of culture, communicators in culture, and at times, as countercultural influencers, who operated like aliens in a foreign land.

It is my prayer that Christians will take our place as leaders in the renaissance of faith and culture that is so needed today.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in June 14, 2007 by | No Comments »

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