Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Cyberspace, Faith & Religion, Transhumanism

Cultural exegesis

0801031672I borrowed a copy of “Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends” (edited by Kevin Vanhoozer, Charles Anderson and Michael Sleasman: 2007) from the library the other day because it contained a copy of the essay “Human 2.0: Transhumanism as a Cultural Trend” (PDF) by Matthew Eppinette, as well as an essay on the church and blogging by .

I haven’t yet read most of the articles but from a quick skim it looks like it’d be a good introductory book for the course ‘Gospel in a Post-Christian Society’ that I took as part of my BD way back in 1999. (See e~mergent kiwi: a burger at my theological table for more on the course).

In his introductory essay, Kevin Vanhoozer argues for Christians being able not only to exegete the Bible and reflect theologically upon it, but also to exegete culture and become culture-makers. He states:

The reason why theology must study God and contemporary culture is the same reason why preaching must connect both with the biblical text and the listener’s context: because disciples do not follow the gospel in a vacuum but wend their Christian way through particular times and places, each with its own problem and possibilities. We can follow God’s word only if we know where we are and if we have a sense of where various ways lead. Doing theology is part and parcel of one’s daily walk and is too important to leave solely to the professionals.



  1. Thanks for the tip Stephen. I’m currently working on a BTh (Hons) dissertation around Missional Church and Baptistic Ecclesiology and will add this to the reading list.

  2. admin

    Hi Andrew. It’s a real mish-mash of essays, covering all sorts of material, but their approach (specifically Vanhoozer’s methodology) might well connect with your project.

    Out of interest are you compiling resources, observations, etc. you’re finding somewhere online? – like on a research blog?

  3. Hi Stephen, I haven’t put anything on the Napier Baptist blog as yet. I’m tossing up whether to do it or not. It might steer the blog away from being a “church” blog to becoming “my” blog and talking about dissertations can narrow the discussion for many people (especially the many who’ve never done and don’t want to do tertiary study).

    On the dissertation, I have been deeply influenced by the work Michael Jinkins and his discussion on taxonomies for the church (against the talk of ‘Christendom’ that is employed by so many when speaking about the missional church). My hunch is that the emphasis falls on “missional” and the “church” aspect is whatever missional produces. From the Baptistic perspective I really appreciate Thomas Finger, James McClendon, Nancy Murphey, Derek Tidball, Paul Fiddes, Keith Jones, Ian Stackhouse and I have been hugely influenced by Martin Sutherland.

  4. I wouldn’t put it up there, unless it had a direct connection to the purpose of the church blog. Still, I’ve found it useful to keep material in a searchable, online form – and so a separate blog might be useful, though others find they can use something like gMail to do the same.

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