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As you may have noticed from the previous post, ‘Creating Space for God’ by Henri Nouwin, Meg and I are seeking to carve out this corner of WordPress to simply have a space and an outlet where we can express ourselves, and begin to articulate the journey of life we are currently traveling. We long for this to be a garden where ideas, experiences, honesty and vulnerabilty can be the soil where creativity emerges, and we can all grow together as we seek to know and follow the Lord.
We invite you into this space because we need you! We need you so that we grow, find meaning, and fellowship together on this journey. I (Ken) really long to add value to my world, and share what we are learning. We need this space to challenge oursleves, to give voice to the musings that rummble around in our heart’s and minds.
Andy Crouch wrote a book called Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling that has had a tremendous impact on me, and is still reshaping my paragim concerning my role in engaging culture. In the book, he talks about the Culture Shift we are currently in the middle of, and the mandate the the church has in engaging and creating culture. In this book he unpacks the role and authority God has given man to cultivate and keep the garden. This mandate goes to the core of mankind’s idenity and purpose. God has given us this priviledged responsibility to cultivate and steward the works He has put under our authority. I share these thoughts with you because they help communicate why we are starting this blog, and what we long for in the process of creating it.
Take a minute me and visit a thought or two Andy sets forth in this book.
“Genesis 1 is a sequence of acts of ordering, as the Creator gradually carves out a habitable environment. The first chapter of Genesis records a series of divisions-order from chaos, light from darkness, heaven from earth, sea from land- each of which makes the world more amenable for the flourishing of creativity. Another way of putting these two features of creation is to say that Genesis presents God as both Creator and Ruler of the universe. Creators are those who make something new; rulers are those who maintain order and separation. As an American I’m aware that I tend to celebrate creators and am suspicious of rulers. Our nation’s history began, after all, with the overthrow of a ruler and the creation of a novel form of government. In America, though not at many other times and places in history, innovation is prized more than conservation. The idea that the world’s Creator is also its Ruler-that order accompanies creativity-may strike us as suspicious and unfamiliar.
Yet creativity cannot exist without order-a structure within which creation can happen. On a cosmic level the extraordinary profusion of species could never survive if the world were an undifferentiated soup of elements. This is true of human creativity too. Without the darkened box of a theater, films would lose their compelling power. Without the lines and spaces that make up written English, this book would be a soup of letters. Creativity requires cosmos-it requires an ordered environment.
So in a way the Creator’s greatest gift to his creation is the gift of structure-not a structure which locks the world, let alone the Creator himself, into eternal mechanical repetition, but a structure which provides freedom. And those who are made in his image will also be both creators and rulers. They will have a unique capacity to create-perhaps not to call something out of nothing in quite the way that God does in Genesis 1:1, but to reshape what exists into something genuinely new. And they will have a responsibility to care for what God has made-“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). They will sort out the cultivated from the wild. Human beings will be gardeners.”
“If there is a constructive way forward for Christians in the midst of our broken but also beautiful cultures, it will require us to recover these two biblical postures of cultivation and creation. And that recovery will involve revisiting the biblical story itself, where we discover that God is more intimately and eternally concerned with culture than we have yet come to believe.”
― Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling