With his characteristic sharp English wit and penetrating insights, Carl Trueman, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminister Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, writes on the topic of Christians and Culture. I have been intrigued by this topic for some time and am grappling with the implications of being engaged with the culture. However, learning of churches where the pastor spends more time exegeting movies instead of Scripture has raised red flags for me. Indeed, it isn't enough that the pastor watches an occasional movie and analyzes it from a Christian perspective -- his goal is to train the congregation to get into the habit of exegeting movies so as to reach out to their neighbors.
Trueman disputes the wisdom of such teaching. Here is his opening paragraph...
One of the modern shibboleths of the evangelical church, particularly the evangelical church in the West, is that of culture. One must be interested in culture, or one is simply irrelevant. Books and organizations abound on Christian approaches to various aspects of modern culture; there are magazines and e-zines dedicated to the topic; and numerous conferences are held, some local, some national, some international, which address cultural issues in terms of the categories and so-called world-and-life-view of Christianity. Now, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater: sure, we need to understand the language and idioms of our culture to the extent that we need to communicate the gospel in such a context in a meaningful, comprehensible way; but I do believe that fascination with culture is now way out of hand in Christian circles and has come to eclipse more important, more central things. Indeed, even as I say that it is important to understand context to communicate the gospel effectively, I am conscious that this seemingly obvious statement needs to be tempered by the fact that some of the greatest preaching ever known was designed precisely not to communicate to the contemporary culture. Just check Isaiah's commission in Is. 6, and the use of that text in Jesus' ministry to see how not communicating in comprehensible categories as determined by the immediate culture is a critical sign of judgment on an idolatrous people.
You can read the rest of his post here