How Pop Culture Helps Us Know God

21 Oct

Let’s be honest. You’re a nerd. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. (We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t.) You get pumped about movie premiers. You make t-shirts for book releases. You would go to the sketchiest little venue just to hear that band play. You may even own some action figures. We won’t judge.

So why do we love these things? Because they entertain us, yes. But on a deeper level, isn’t it because what we see in them we hope to find and cultivate in ourselves? And on an even deeper level, we would argue that it’s because in each story, in each human creation, we see God. Some level of higher truth is always represented, regardless of whether it was intended.

God created human creativity. In His image, He instilled in us love of the creative act. And beyond that, He made us relational, that we might seek to create things to entertain and encourage each other. Even those who aren’t as prolific in their creativity as others are still creative in their very person. JP 2’s Letter to Artists says, “Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” The very carrying out of our lives is an artistic and venerable act, for when in His creativity He made us, He called us very good. We are ultimately, in our design, very good.

And in our fundamental goodness, there exists in our strivings the potential for similar good. The art we make, the stories we tell, the buildings we build, the music we write, and the lives we lead can have a deep and utter goodness that is beneficial in its very nature.

And we at Theology for Nerds have a particular fascination with those created things which stem so brilliantly from the minds of humans across the world and how they can serve as conduits of the transcendental: truth, beauty, and goodness.

But for real. We really really enjoy pop culture.

And so we endeavor to share our thoughts on how the many facets of popular art, in which our culture is so steeped, speak astonishingly deeply of realities they scarcely understand.

Because we are obsessed.

And so very, very nerdy. It’s like a metaphysical comic-con up in here.

So, the goals of this blog are as follows:
A. Ponder the immense mysteries of the nature of God and man through the unfortunately (but not irrevocably) secularized media sources, and hopefully encourage you to do the same.
2. Nerd out.

Open your eyes. Know Him. Rejoice in the fact that all art is ultimately pointing back to God. Because you cannot separate a human from his image, not matter how hard you try. And the media will ultimately be reclaimed because it cannot escape its own goodness. We just have to recognize it and demand it.
And no, we won’t judge you for wearing that t-shirt in public.

A brief disclaimer: Pop culture can display our good. However it can also display our bad. We as fallen humans are not above implanting our hatred, anger, and personal baggage into the things we create just as frequently and vividly as our goodness. Be careful, be watchful. Not everything is good. Learn to be discerning. Learn to ask whether a film, book, show, play, etc speaks of God properly, whether it correctly orders reality and upholds the dignity of creation. Ask Him to teach you how to be in the culture, but not of it. Don’t take everything as authoritative and correct, and ultimately, if you feel something is leading you down a wrong path, discontinue use. Remember, not everything is worth your time, and not everything is worthy of our attention. We are learning this skill too. Rejoice in and embrace the good, the excellent, the worthy, and discard the foul.

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One Response to “How Pop Culture Helps Us Know God”

  1. liquid chillstep November 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    I found something like this elsewhere and really loved. Some more of this please! Thanks very much

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