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.