Monday, June 28, 2010

A couple weeks ago a guest speaker at our church made the statement that he thinks we Christians are really good at separating ourselves from pagan culture but we really don't find a way to create Christian culture. Like when you have a person that when you talk with that you always gossip. Then you realize you shouldn't gossip, but then the conversation dies and you don't know what to say. When he said that I thought "Oh! That's so true!"  I think that it's true in a lot of areas. It seems like in times past maybe we knew some of it and had culture in those areas (like child raising was much more Christian in times past and has largely been replaced with secular culture... I think anyway.) and some areas I don't think the church has really reached maturity, or frankly even tried to. Have you ever heard anyone talk about Christianly city planning? Shouldn't we? Is there city planning that would be distinctly Christian? I think that we should be sending missionaries into the field of city planning.

When we lived in Portland there was a move to ban snout houses. (Snout houses are the ones where the garage juts way out toward the streets and the front door in hidden way back.)  They said they are architecturally ugly and that they hinder community because people drive into them and go from the garage to the house-neighbors never see each other. Oooo the conservatives were all up in arms. How dare they tell us we can't have our snout houses!

Well, I kind of felt like they had a point...

But how should a Christian city look? I love to read Dwell

.Personally I think it absolutely the very coolest magazine out there. Well, top 5 anyway.
I love to see the creative ways people came up with to make good use of a dinky little space. How they position their windows in a crowded city to make it feel private and secluded. How groups of people get together and make a community house together that still affords everyone privacy yet encourages interaction between them. Houses as culture. Houses as good neighbors. Houses as community. Houses as art. Very. Cool.

I wish more Christians would take this up as a serious point to study-a Christian point to study. We shouldn't be the ones in the back of the room griping about the ideas brought to the table for solutions. But too often we are.


  1. I'll get on that just as soon as I get all of wallys toys sorted! Oh my, what a task I have undertaken! It meant that not only the toys needed gone through but the new cupboard I wanted to use to shelve them was full of videos, hence, the sorting of all those VHS tapes! I do have some disney ones and I'll bring you some!

  2. This comment is not about the main topic but about snout houses. I remembered it as I was walking through my neighborhood today, noticing how many houses have no garage at all. Some were built without a garage. In some, the garage was turned into extra living space. These houses were built in the 1950's, when everyone had a car.

    That reminded me of how much my Dad hated snout houses. He thought they were the ugliest thing. I do too. My neighorhood is a middle-class place, the houses aren't fancy, but it's pretty because garages don't dominate.

    And, I agree with you. I think to many people, Christian culture looks like a lot of rules and complaining about everyone else, and no fun.