Monday, May 29, 2006

Cultural Subversion: How I'm Gonna Bring 'Em All Down

There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.
-C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Coming Soon from Aletheia Stage & Film Co.: A Mind-Expanding Experiment in Cultural Subversion.
Excerpt from:
The Subversion of Christianity
by Jacques Ellul

"We can find traces of Egyptian texts (Job and many other books) and Assyrican-Chaldean texts throughout the Hebrew Bible. Even in Ecclesiastes there is thinking of an incontestably Greek or Egyptian origin. Everyone knows, too, that Paul draws much inspiration from Stoicism in his moral advice. But can we be sure that these cultural texts express God's revelation? Or might it be that revelation does not belong exclusively to the Jews? Are there not manifestations of it among other peoples? In my view, the crucial point in the borrowings is the way in which the texts are treated. Never are Babylonian or Iranian or Egyptian or Greek texts inserted just as they are, in their own identity. They are used, and they are always used polemically, that is to show that the point of the text in question is irrelvant and false.

Throughout the Bible, as regards surrounding cultures, there are what situationists call 'reorientation.' One of the forms of revolutionary action that they have proposed is that of taking a text and giving its objective sense a new turn so as to make it say something else. This is exactly what the Jewish and Christian writers did. They took a text and applied it to a different situation. They changed certain terms and put the text in a context that altered its original sense...even though the phrases remain the same, the meaning is radically broken.

...Thus the Hebrews are set in the midst of cultures: they do not shut themselves off from them, they know and use them, but they make them say other things. This is the subversion of culture."

"Say the Word and you'll be free.
Say the Word and be like me.
Say the Word I'm thinking of.
Have you heard the Word is 'Love?'"
-The Word by The Beatles
(John 1:1; 1 John 4:8,16)


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