I may not be John Piper’s biggest fan, but he definitely has note-worthy perspectives. There have been many pastors and churches talking about cultural relevance and what that means. It seems that most settle with the perspective of being up on pop culture, seeing all the popular movies, listening to all the popular music, and all the rest. This is an excellent way to do it because then you have a lot to interface with when talking to people and you can also hold “conversations” with culture: exploring what the culture is saying to us and what we want to say in reply.
Interesting that John Piper is very culturally relevant, yet he does not watch movies. Like me you may be stratching your head and thinking how could this be so. Here is his notable answer:
…I think there are more common denominators in human beings that are so massive that one can get a lot of mileage out of feeling them very strongly. For example, take the fact that everybody’s going to die. You should try feeling that sometime. Just feel it. Everybody’s going to die. And everybody loves authenticity. Try to feel that and go with that. People generally like to be held in suspense and then ahve something solved. I read the newspaper, listen to a little bit of NPR, and look at advertisers. I think they’re the ones who study human beings, so I just try to read off what they are doing there. But mainly I’m trying to understand how John Piper ticks. I go deep with my own heart and my own struggles and my own fears and guilt and pride and then figure out how to work on that, and then from the Bible I tell others how they can work on that — and there’s enough connection to be of some use.
It is important and eternally relevant to recall the universal interface that is built into each and every one of us. Science is telling us that there is more than 99% of our genetic code is the same as every other human on the planet. We so often focus on the differences that we forget that we all have those same basic needs, fears, and desires.
Thank you, John Piper, for not only sharing such appropriate insight, but also for being a living example of radical relevance.