“Us” and “Them” and Superman
Did anybody else read the editorial “What Evangelicals Can Learn from Superman” in USA Today over the weekend? Written by Tom Krattenmaker, the column talks about the shift in the way many Christians are choosing to engage with culture (specifically the new “Man of Steel” movie, but more generally with music, media and pop culture).
When it comes to secular pop culture, evangelical America has come a long way since the days of “hit and run” — hit, as in condemn, and run, as in teach your kids and flocks that this stuff is to be avoided like the devil.
Whether it’s movies or music, I think most youth leaders have been ahead of the curve in this area. But it’s interesting to see a “trend” (although I hope it’s much more than that) being recognized.
More recently, there has been a growing understanding that walls meant to protect Christians have also barred them from participating in a secular culture that, for all its crass commercialization and glorified sex and violence, offers much that is enlightening and uplifting. The increasingly common call in evangelical America: Engage culture. Learn from it. Create it, with or without the explicit faith references.
What about you? Have you seen “Man of Steel”? Are you talking to your students about the movie? Do you see a shift in the way others in your church community are engaging with popular culture?