It is with joy and anticipation that I welcome you to our latest edition of Resonance! This Summer, we will explore together the theme of “Christianity and Culture” through the various lenses of Liturgy, Witness, Scripture, and Tradition. Each of these perspectives provide a unique vantage point from which we can discover new ideas, reflect on past experiences, and dialogue together for the purpose of engaging the world around us.
I especially want to thank our continuing readers for joining us again, and I offer a special note of welcome to our new readers and subscribers! Here at Resonance, we are working hard to curate a timely and relevant resource that bridges theological writing and reflection with the day-to-day realities of the life of discipleship. God calls us all in unique ways to serve in unique places, and our goal at Resonance is to help spark learning, dialogue, reflection, and action within your particular setting and community. Along those lines, please take note of the invitations for both individual and church sponsorship that are located at the end of the journal. As we continue to grow our reader base, additional financial resources will help us to press forward and lead the conversation. And as a special “thank you,” all monthly sponsors receive (among other things) a Learning Guide for small groups that is designed to foster conversation and action around each article published in the journal.
This volume, there is certainly a lot to consider. Jeremy Hunt introduces us to the world of heavy music and reveals how God’s Spirit can be at work within popular culture to forge community and create space for spiritual transformation. John Friberg then turns the philosophical question of “the problem of evil” around into an affirmation of all that is good. As Christianity engages culture, we remember and bear witness to the common grace that is at work for the common good of the world. Jason Caywood then describes a compelling framework for biblical interpretation – a redemptive-movement hermeneutic – that provides a way to understand some of the biblical justifications for troubling and tragic historical practices such as slavery. He shows us that how we engage the intersection of the Bible and culture makes a critical difference in our ethics and actions. We then turn to the recent social justice movements in Hong Kong. Ann Gillian Chu provides a first-hand assessment of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central and the Umbrella Movement, offering both a critique and a suggested way forward for Christian engagement towards societal change.
Our central Crux article highlights the tension many Christians feel toward the recent developments in Muslim immigration. Here, Matthew Kaemingk challenges perceptions of both the left and the right, and he provides compelling portraits of a kaleidoscopic Christ as a way to move forward and engage our Muslim neighbors with grace and compassion. Agnes Chiu then helps us to reflect on the current state of the U.S. Supreme Court by explaining the impact of the Conservative Legal Movement and the way that public theology can provide an avenue for thoughtful dialogue and engagement. Next, Mary Sayler takes us on a tour through the many instances of the word “truth” in the Bible. She shows us how Jesus is the ultimate truth, while reminding us of God’s foundational truth for our lives and the impact this can have on the culture around us. In our final articles, David Drum speaks to the corrupting dangers of compartmentalizing our lives, and Dana Mahan provides a lesson into the power of perichoresis as a Trinitarian guiding principle for mutual relationship across cultures.
As we can see, Christianity and culture is a broad theme that allows us to explore a myriad of ways that God is working in and for the world. May our reflections and conversations deepen our understanding and lead us to act upon a more holistic practice of discipleship in our daily lives. Welcome to the conversation!
Dr. Brant Himes