Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dressing up the trivial with transcendence

I truly wish THIS was an April Fools joke but I fear they are actually serious.

I know I just completely lost all hope of ever becoming an urban-gospel-hipster with this post. Alas...

28 comments:

J.A. Sitek said...

Hate to say it, but it gets worse with the follow up from this morning.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2014/04/01/do-you-know-where-your-food-comes-from/

Todd Pruitt said...

Ugh.

J.A. Sitek said...

I think this must be what they are hoping for. http://youtu.be/ErRHJlE4PGI

Todd Pruitt said...

Do I need to tell my wife that the next time she makes cookies, they have to be gospel-centered cookies?

Reformation said...

Who the heck is running that site over there? That question is gaining greater frequency here. I'm inclined to do a break-out into Cranmer's Litany, "Good Lord, deliver us!"

Todd Pruitt said...

It really seemed odd when I read it this morning. I honestly considered the possibility that it was an April Fools goof. Clearly, they are serious. A whole series of posts to come.

J.A. Sitek said...

AND a cook book.

It sounds like sarcasm, but it isn't.

Todd Pruitt said...

The question is, do all of our cookbooks now need to be gospel-centered?

J.A. Sitek said...

In a word: TOTES-MAGOTES.

Teri Jacobsen said...

I thought gospel-centered cookies already made their appearance around the block. You know, the little triangular-shaped ones with a Bible-verse -on a strip of paper- buried inside.

Matt Bailey said...

I would ask for a little levity in judgement. As a "monday morning theologian," and a business owner, my theology has to be lived in the public sphere, rather than taught on Sunday morning. Though I was skeptical at first, it was informative to read how others interpret their desire to give glory to God through their profession.

I see this series as a partner piece to Lyndon Unger's recent articles on the sufficiency of scripture - which informs us of the moral choices in our daily life, especially in our professions.

Todd Pruitt said...

Matt,
I don't disagree with you about the necessity to think about our vocations in the light of God's glory. We should absolutely do that.

But regarding the particular posts at TGC:
1. Why does it seem that cultural engagement always seem to be related to the arts or, in this case, pastry? It seems a little high brow to me.
2. I fear we are making the whole idea of gospel-centeredness trivial.

So, by all means continue to think about your vocation in terms of doxology and devotion.

I just can't help but think - A theology of dessert? Milk and honey? REALLY??

Matt Bailey said...

Thanks for the reply, Todd.

I guess I didn't see this in terms of cultural engagement, but more introspective from the delivery. My reaction to seeing particular buzzwords in the article certainly helped to define my place outside of eco-hipsterism, but I appreciated the desire to find a theological context to one's profession.

As ar as triviality, I am taking in this article on it's own, outside of the total context of TGC, so I can't speak to any trends of the material.

David said...

Matt,

We put cows in our backyard 4 years ago and have an automatic evangelism tool people just come on our property without invitation and we share the story of creation and redemption. Did I do it for that reason? No I did it because I saw it as a "more Better" way to live and eat. God is the one who has multiplied it and we have received a huge blessing of joy with our creator. I think what the TGC is attempting to do is help us none ministry types live the gospel not just on Sundays. Looking forward to the rest of the series. God Bless Now!

Todd Pruitt said...

I have no problem with the exhortation to do all that we do for the glory of God. I'm just not sure about a theology of desserts. Seems a bit, I don't know...silly.

Tom said...

But we can't "live the gospel." Christ lived the gospel, and we must live in light of it. But our lives, no matter how righteous, cannot be the good news. As Michael Horton has said, "We don't become the news; we report it." Linking the gospel to things that don't require a dying and rising Christ in order to exist definitely trivialize it.

Todd Pruitt said...

Spot on Tom.

Jeremy said...

Ok. First, let me layout my Presbyterian street-cred:
- Raised a Methodist / Baptist but had my eyes opened to the truth of God's sovereignty and the doctrines of grace, at which time I turned to the PCA.
- I sometimes feel I'd be more at home in the OPC (sorry Todd) due to my Trueman-like leanings concerning worship and a few other items.
- I love the MOS podcast, especially since it has a fellow West Virginian on board.
All that being said, I'm not upset with the current "foodie" series on the TGC blog. Is the target audience more hipster driven than some (most) of us? Yes. Does that mean that good points, both practical and theological, aren't made? I don't think so. My wife and I aren't completely organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, Whole Foods, only shoppers, but we do it where we can; some out of concern about food additives and so forth, but also due to some of the things that the blogger points out in her post regarding how the farmers and workers are paid and how animals are treated. I hope this doesn't make me a hippie wannabe that's trying to be too "gospel-centered". It may, but I don't feel that's the case. By way of analogy, if I knew that much of Taco Bell's profit was used to fund South American drug cartels, would I choose to buy my tacos elsewhere? If so, why? While the topic of food production may not evoke the same visceral response as drug cartels, isn't there a level that Christian's should care about how farmers and suppliers in poor countries are treated or how animals are treated?
Just my thoughts...I still love the MOS and the PCA. I don't, in other words, have any intention of going to the PC USA where food production awareness may have more of an audience!
God Bless.
Jeremy
WV

Jeremy said...

Ok. First, let me layout my Presbyterian street-cred:
- Raised a Methodist / Baptist but had my eyes opened to the truth of God's sovereignty and the doctrines of grace, at which time I turned to the PCA.
- I sometimes feel I'd be more at home in the OPC (sorry Todd) due to my Trueman-like leanings concerning worship and a few other items.
- I love the MOS podcast, especially since it has a fellow West Virginian on board.
All that being said, I'm not upset with the current "foodie" series on the TGC blog. Is the target audience more hipster driven than some (most) of us? Yes. Does that mean that good points, both practical and theological, aren't made? I don't think so. My wife and I aren't completely organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, Whole Foods, only shoppers, but we do it where we can; some out of concern about food additives and so forth, but also due to some of the things that the blogger points out in her post regarding how the farmers and workers are paid and how animals are treated. I hope this doesn't make me a hippie wannabe that's trying to be too "gospel-centered". It may, but I don't feel that's the case. By way of analogy, if I knew that much of Taco Bell's profit was used to fund South American drug cartels, would I choose to buy my tacos elsewhere? If so, why? While the topic of food production may not evoke the same visceral response as drug cartels, isn't there a level that Christian's should care about how farmers and suppliers in poor countries are treated or how animals are treated?
Just my thoughts...I still love the MOS and the PCA. I don't, in other words, have any intention of going to the PC USA where food production awareness may have more of an audience!
God Bless.
Jeremy
WV

Teri Jacobsen said...

We ran a family bakery for almost 10 years. Never once were we compelled to develop a "Theology of Baking." The axiomatic starting point with this sort of logic would seem to be "me" instead of God. Beginning with God would motivate us to examine the theological patterns born out in Scripture regarding the "work" we are called to do on this earth. That's a universal & doesn't need to be particularized with every occupation and cultural nuance.

Todd Pruitt said...

I think that is exactly right Terri. We just recorded a Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit on this very point. It will air Wednesday next week.

David said...

Galatians 2:20 and following is why I live a gospel life to the extent I can in the flesh I am bound to. God Bless Now!

Todd Pruitt said...

David,

I think a better way of understanding this is not that we live the gospel but that we seek to live out the implications of the gospel.

J.A. Sitek said...

Wrote this as a comment on OldLife:

"Call me Captain Obvious, but doesn’t Jesus’ death (and purchase of sinners) mean we don’t have to worry if our actions here are redemptive enough?"

yak man said...

Do we need to make Law-centred cookies before we offer people the gospel-centred ones?

Todd Pruitt said...

Ha! I like that idea.

Todd Pruitt said...

It's been really interesting to read some of the push-back I have received. Carl, Aimee, and I have also received some criticism for our most recent MOS: Bully Pulpit on the topic.

What the critics have missed is that we are clearly NOT criticizing the necessity to view our vocations as arenas for the glory of God. We've made that point over and over. Our point is that the series on food at TGC is more than a little sloppy. The posts employ a sloppy hermeneutic. For instance, that the Scriptures speak of the wedding feast of the Lamb does not justify the development of a "theology of desserts" or gospel-centered pastries. It's pretty silly.

Also, the attempt to connect free-range chickens and organic asparagus to the gospel cheapens the whole gospel-centered project.

J.A. Sitek said...

AMEN, Todd.

Seems like "redeeming culture" has become somewhat of a sacred cow.

And like all sacred cows, they really aren't.

But people still act offended anyways.

Preach the word, administer the sacraments, and bake cupcakes. Or something.