Friday 5 November 2010

Joe Carter on the Cultural Mandate

The latest online Comment issue from Cardus includes a nice piece on the cultural mandate (Genesis 1:28) by Joe Carter, noting the tendency to downplay the clear ‘making babies’ element when explaining it.

‘We may not be so elitist as to think that repairing cars or hemming pants is inferior to writing novels or creating sculptures. But we are likely to be made uneasy by the idea that the newly-married teenage mother has fulfilled the cultural mandate in a way that is more profound than the creation of War and Peace.’

Of course, he points out that Tolstoy also produced four children, showing that ‘we too should be able to reconcile the dual requirements of the cultural mandate’, and is careful to say that ‘not everyone is called to be a parent’, just as not everyone is called to be artist or an entrepreneur. Even so...

‘Once we view the cultural mandate from God's perspective, it becomes apparent that the production of folk culture pales in importance to the culture of producing folks.’

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