Who is influencing who? The production capabilities of Viacom are so massive that often times it is impossible to discern where these images are being formed and captured. The interesting aspect of all of this is the teenage desire to consume, and to reflect. What keeps this process continuing on one end, is the desire of the adolescent to partake in the process. There is a desire to consume an identity, and then have that identity reflected. This is not at all to say that the problem lies solely on the side of consumption. The process is extremely complex. Each phase is almost inextricably linked to the next.
Harmony mentioned that the countercultural model was a “tool for evangelism.” I would sincerely agree and take it one step further by adding that the countercultural model at its purest is evangelism. It calls for one to go into the culture, and make disciples within that culture. It doesn’t call for us to take people “out of the world.” This is the prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples. The countercultural model is a serious method of both engaging culture and presenting the Good News of Jesus. Many times we forget that some aspects of culture are by nature opposed to the Good News, and have to be prophetically challenged in love.
Most people whether they know or not, have some type of eschatology. It doesn’t matter how underdeveloped or separated from any particular religious tradition it is. Everyone has an idea of what will happen in the end. We all think about what’s on the “other side.” Some ideas of what will be are extremely bleak, others a bit more hopeful. Herein lies one of the most beautiful aspects of the good news that we as Christians can communicate through culture. That aspect is this, in Christ we have a clear hope of what will be. That hope has already come. The future has broken into our past through the ressurrection of Christ. In many ways, what will be, has already been.
The countercultural is an incredibly balanced approached to theology. In many ways it is the theology that seems to be the approach many moderate churches would espouse to. The church I attended in Brooklyn, New York (Christian Cultural Center), had for it’s mission statement, “To communicate Christ in Culture.” This model of theology takes the cultural context into account and doesn’t disrespect it by simply dismissing it as evil. Yet it understands that culture, (any culture, not just non-western culture but even western culture in particular), is expressed by fallen human beings in a fallen world.
Todd’s paper outline is extremely intriguing and the first point could be an entire paper. “Engaging the divide between youth culture and the rest of society.” There are so many complexities to this one point it’s amazing. At times youth culture and the culture of the larger society are one in the same. There are times when youth culture influences mass culture and vis versa. This point I would imagine would be extremely difficult to limit. There should be no loss for content in Todd’s paper at all. Exploring how the praxis model would work in youth culture is also fascinating.
The transcendental model is perhaps the most liberal and most definitely the most “subjective” model of theology we’ve studied so far. My skepticism is that the truth which is experienced “inwardly” will be reduced to nothing but mere speculation rather than responsible theology. The power of this approach is that it takes into account the ways in which different people groups process different ideas. It also recognizes that everyone who engages in reflection of his or her faith is engaging in theology.
Music plays the role of role of a drug in popular culture. What we listen to ushers us into a state of euphoria for which we will gladly pay $16.99 ($9.99 from i-tunes) every single time. The salvific aspect of music is it’s ability to rescue you from your present circumstances and transport you into another dimension, at least mentally. The appeal is that we can enter a world that is not truly ours. We can live vicariously through words and rhythms that at first don’t belong to us, but as we listen become ours.