Gestures and Postures

Last week I finished a book by Andy Crouch called "Culture Making, Recovering Our Creative Calling." It's an interesting book about the Christian's role in culture. Its aim is to push Christians to be creaters of culture rather than simply rebuking or responding to culture. He points out that "evangelicalism... still produces better art critics than artists," to its detriment. 

One of the most helpful pieces in the book is a chapter on the difference between gestures and postures. Posture is "the position our body assumes when we aren't paying attention." Gestures are temporary movements made in response to specific situations; I gesture during conversation, stoop down to pick up something off the floor, or curl up on the couch with my wife. 

The trick is, over time our gestures can become habit - part of our posture. Tall teenagers slouch to minimize their height, which leads to long-term posture issues. You can almost always tell a person who was a wrestler in high school and college - they walk through life with a posture that gives them away. 

Crouch's point is this: The gestures of condemning culture, critiquing culture, consuming culture, or copying culture are all appropriate gestures from time to time. But they become damaging when we lean towards one gesture inparticular to the point that it becomes a part of our posture. If we are too often consumers of culture, we are handicapped in our ability to respond to culture that should rather be critiqued. 

Crouch says "With good posture, all gestures are available to us; over time, with poor posture, all we can do is a variation of what we have done before." 

As you respond to the culture and the world around you, how is your posture? Are you free to gesture appropriately in each different circumstance, or are you hampered in your ability to respond because you lean toward one gesture too much? 

1 comments:

sumit said...

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