Culture Making Conference

Northeastern Seminary invited Christian author and social commentator Andy Crouch – winner of the 2009 Christianity and Culture Book Award from Christianity Today and a “starred review” from Publisher’s Weekly for his book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling – as the keynote speaker for its 2011 Conference on Ministry, June 7-8 in the Cultural Life Center on the Roberts Wesleyan College campus.

In his acclaimed book, Crouch unleashes a stirring manifesto calling Christians to be culture makers. For too long, he explains, Christians have had an insufficient view of culture and waged misguided “culture wars.” But they must reclaim the cultural mandate to be the creative cultivators that God designed them to be. “Culture is what we make of the world, both in creating cultural artifacts as well as in making sense of the world around us,” Crouch says. “By making chairs and omelets, languages and laws, we participate in the good work of culture making.”

As keynote speaker at the NES Conference on Ministry, Crouch will unpack the complexities of how culture works and recommend tools for cultivating and creating culture. He navigates the dynamics of cultural change and probes the role and efficacy of Christians’ various cultural gestures and postures.

Crouch’s keen biblical exposition shows that “creating culture” is central to the whole scriptural narrative, the ministry of Jesus and the call to the church. He guards against naive assumptions about “changing the world,” but points to hopeful examples from church history and contemporary society of how culture is made and shaped. “Ultimately, our culture making is done in partnership with God’s own making and transforming of culture,” he says.

Plenary sessions will address the following topics:

* The Horizons of the Possible: Defining and Understanding Culture
* Gestures and Postures: Recovering a Biblical Framework for Our Cultural Calling
* The Broken Image: Injustice, Idolatry and Restoration
* Learning to Play: Excellence and the Disciplines in Everyday Life
* A Model of Cultural Change

Workshops will be conducted on the following issues:

* What the church needs to know about ministry in the city
* Images and Culture: Making room for visual creativity in ministry
* Theological underpinnings for integrating music styles
* Blogging and the “missio Dei”: Addressing the central cultural issues

General admission for the two-day conference is $110, with discounts available for groups and NES students and alumni. For more information, contact Northeastern Seminary by phone at (585) 594-6800 or 800-777-4792, or online at www.nes.edu/com/2011.

Crouch is special assistant to the president at Christianity Today International, where he was executive producer of the documentary films Where Faith and Culture Meet and Round Trip, and editorial director of the Christian Vision Project. He serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and Equitas Group, a philanthropic organization focused on ending child exploitation in Haiti and Southeast Asia. Crouch studied classics at Cornell University and received an M.Div. summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology. He also is a classically trained musician.