This article is the third blog in my series that discusses the importance of remembering Jesus is fully human as we celebrate the Advent season. Last week, I suggested that we devalue the worth of God’s creation (including ourselves) if we forget Jesus’ humanity. And Christians often do this very thing when they prize the spiritual to the denigration of the physical world. To highlight this issue, I pointed out three of at least seven ways Christians practice a Christian Gnosticism. This week, I will elaborate on the remaining four ways we forget his humanness and thus fall into the gnostic trap.
Artists are able to see beauty before it exists, and bring it into being, taking raw materials such as paint, canvas, clay, metal, fabric, notes, words or movement, and producing something of value. I believe this is what Christians are called to do in culture—take what God has created and produce something of value, which leads to human flourishing and the common good. As Ted Turnau puts it, “God commands us to develop his creation. It makes sense, then, that the Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city.” (Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective, p. 54)
In my last post, I shared the first way biblical truth always shows up in the movies we watch. Yet there are two more ways that we should notice as well. Each of these should regularly remind us of the Gospel in our own lives and give us “common ground” from which to discuss biblical truth with those around us.
During the holidays I had the chance to see a play and several movies (a rare treat!) I was struck by three biblical themes that were central to them all. By highlighting these themes in conversations with our children and friends we have ready-made examples to help them understand the great truths of the Gospel, as well as remind us of the grace of the Gospel in our lives!
Last week I began discussing a second reason we should reflect on the humanity of Christ this Christmas season. I shared four of the seven ways we forget this (“Christian Gnosticism”), and the harmful effects this has on us. In this post, I will share the last four. (These reasons were just too important to cram into the few weeks leading up to Christmas!)