Making the most of God’s image

Further musings on the issue of blasphemy and Christian protest.

One of our strongest apologetic tools may be our ‘cultural appropriation of revelation’.

What on earth does that mean?

As Christians we believe that we have been created in the image of God. Our creativity – our fashioning of things – our development of ‘culture’ – is part of that image of God.

Furthermore, our ability to create and fashion and shape is dependent upon the ordered regularity of the universe, which is guaranteed by our sustaining God.

Unlike God we are unable to create from nothing which means our very creative ability is limited by our ‘createdness’ (we can’t surprise God – even with the most radical idea).

For example, a painter can only paint because God created and governs the world to make paint react with canvas in a particular way. He cannot transcend that. To use Turnau’s phrase we “do culture using borrowed capital”. And the amazing truth from the point of view of the Christian is, that even the most anti-God piece of writing or theatre is only possible because of ‘common Grace’.

And this should perhaps encourage us to seek and appropriate that which reflects God and His gracious work in the most idolatrous piece of ‘culture’ we can see. So perhaps rather than complaining about Jerry Springer the Opera we should be looking to use it apologetically?

But to my mind the jury is still out about how this relates to blasphemy and whether our reaction should be different because of that. More thought required…

PS thanks to AJS for pointing out the opacity of the title, which has been duly changed…

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