Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Radical Biblical and Cultural Interpretation and World-changing

in Harrisonburg, VA
Many of my friends at seminary and on Facebook are no doubt tired of me whining about the paper I'm posting here via Scribd (impressive service, btw). Taking shape in my head for over two months, it's finally done and I'll turn it in to my professor this afternoon. The paper is a review/synthesis and attempt at integration of two significant books which I read this fall, the latter of which I've recently mentioned here:
The primary presupposition for the paper is that it was written by a Christian (me) within and for the Church. Non-Christians might find some interesting material, especially the contemporary philosophical and sociological material, which challenge prevailing Western and American views and practices. Another presupposition that I point out in the paper is that I'm working primarily with the Church in America. Global concerns are important and named but are not the focus of the paper.  The paper can be most succinctly summarized by saying it deals with one working assumption that leads to two consequences explored in the paper.
  • Assumption (later unpacked): Christians operate with a limited understanding of culture
  • Consequence 1: Christians operate with a limited understanding of the biblical text
  • Consequence 2: Christians set off on quixotic engagements with culture
Finally, a note on how this is posted. An academic paper does not "copy and paste" well into the blog format. The nature of the two media are far too disparate. Academic papers have footnotes, blog posts have hyperlinks, and trying to shoe-horn one into the other is a nightmare. This is why I'm so impressed with my first use of Scribd as a publishing platform. It allows both to be true to themselves while offering the best of social media for papers and publications like this.

So read on after the break if you're ready for a big 20-page exploration of Christians and culture in America...

[Update, Jan. 11, 2011: Just uploaded an edited and revised version of the paper below, which was submitted for an upcoming symposium in February.]

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