Monday, February 18, 2008

sensational book

Lovely comment from Bob Carlton about my Out of Bounds Church? book here

“In his sensational book Out of Bounds Church, Steve Taylor writes: “How is the emerging church DJ-ing gospel and culture, mixing image and sound, ancient and future, to create a remix for a new world?”

Bob is picking up on my way of framing gospel and culture, in which I use the image of a DJ to analyse how the relationship between gospel and culture could be; that rather than see them as monolithic wholes that we either embrace in total, or reject in total, that instead we see our lives as samples, or bit-sized pieces and that we are sometimes juxtaposing gospel and culture, other times subverting gospel and culture, other times, amplifying gospel and culture.

I have continued to develop the DJ image since my book came out. Another example I find really helpful in terms of explaining the concept is the way that U2 use the song Bullet the Blue Sky in their Vertigo tour (DVD here).

The song was written in response to the US intrusion into Central American politics. 20 years later, they take that protest song and re-frame it in relation to US intrusion into Middle Eastern politics. Now, note the samples that are used in the song;
– US fighter plane visuals
– lyrics from ‘Jonny comes marching home again”
– Bono blindfolding himself with Co-exist label
– Bono placing himself in torture position
– lyrics from ‘Gangs of New York’
and the list goes on. Each sample adds layers of meaning, subverting, amplifying, juxtaposing meanings to produce a very potent piece of communication.

(I use this in my classes; Living the text – which I have taught at Fuller Seminary the last two years, and am due to teach in Adelaide this year, and Contemporary preaching, which I am teaching this Semester, starting Wednesday, at BCNZ here in Christchurch)

Last year I got to talk with Bruce Ramos, U2 lighting engineer. I explained my ideas and he nodded. “Yep” that’s what’s going on. “Intuitively.” (One of my goals for my study leave later this year is to write this up as a journal article.)

Posted by steve at 03:38 PM

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