The last entry on Everyday Theology is from chapter 11 “Putting It into Practice: Weddings for Everyday Theologians.” As Vanhoozer states in his editorial introduction to the chapter, “The case study is a practical counterpart to the opening essay on methodology…This case study focuses on how to apply the methodology and take steps towards becoming everyday theologians.” p. 228
The chapter briefly offers an overview, making sure the reader has followed both explicit and implicit themes throughout the book. In so doing, they offer the following thought to summarize what has preceded, and to ground the case study:
“Since the ultimate goal of a Christian hermeneutic of culture is to cultivate men and women more faithful to the gospel in the culture in which they live, the importance of the texts and trends does matter.” (p. 231)
That said, the authors utilize the cultural text of a wedding to walk the reader through what it looks like to apply these concepts in the everyday world in which we live. While walking through the analysis of weddings and how they have morphed into a multi-billion dollar industry would be beyond the scope or purpose of this entry, I do want to leave you with a quote from the concluding section, “Beyond Discussion: Becoming a Cultural Agent:”
“Our mandate to live wisely as Christians includes all of life. Our response, therefore, should be holistic, encompassing hands and the heart, the individual and the group…Proposals for the heart focus on what we believe and value. Cultural agency starts with the heart, because it recognizes this is where cultural texts most fundamentally want to shape us. Our response, therefore, must match accordingly. All other cultural agency flows from the heart.”
I think that this encapsulates the task of this volume well. In closing this discussion then, I wonder if we could come up with an area of either North American culture, or even North American “Christian” culture (or sub-culture), that we believe is most in need of a distinctly Christian exegesis. Could it be the value of rhetoric, status, or maybe the way we have adopted marketing and leadership from a consumer culture? What do you think?