An Interview with Brett McCracken

Culture. It’s quite the buzzword among Christians these days. From Andy Crouch’s Culture Making to a revival in interest in Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture to, well, blogs like this one. Everyone seems to be exploring how Christians should interact with, embrace, create, and redeem culture. But the problem is that many efforts to address the intersection of Christianity and culture are theoretical, rather than practical.

Enter Brett McCracken, a Los Angeles-based writer and journalist who has just written a book entitled, Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism and Liberty. In it, he practically addresses how Christians can wade through moral gray issues–from alcohol consumption to secular music and films. As I said in the endorsement, the result is “a truly spectacular book that carves a path between an oppressive, rules-based religion and a powerless, free-for-all ‘faith.’” Here we discuss the pitfall of legalism, the potential pitfalls of this generation, and how Christians should navigate the issues that aren’t as black-and-white as they wish.

JM: You say in your book that things like alcohol, edgier films, plays, concerts, and art have “moved from being forbidden to being celebrated by believers.” Isn’t this the role Christians played historically, as culture creators? What role do you think believers have when it comes to setting trends and creating culture?

For Brett’s answer and the following discussions, check it out here.