I must confess something important about my views on Orthodox culture, or indeed on any Christian culture creation.
It’s essential to keep our goals clear. There are some things that we can’t do. In my observation of Christian culture-makers of various denominations, I’ve noticed a viewpoint that shows up in every Christian context I’ve been in (and I’ve been in several). There is an impression, either conscious or unconscious, that it is within our power to change the world. If we just hit the right formula, the right combination of message and medium, we can turn the broader secular culture on its head and drive evil back from all its strong points in the world.
I don’t believe this, and I don’t believe in believing it. Only God can make a new heaven and a new earth. It is not within our power to change the fact that this is a fallen world. It is fallen, and it will remain fallen for the duration of its existence as we now know it. If we think otherwise, we are not only overstepping our bounds, but we are setting ourselves up for perpetual and bitter disappointment.
Because I believe this, I don’t write Christian novels with the idea that if I just write enough of them, people will stop reading about vampires, experimenting with drugs, or shooting innocent bystanders. I write them because I believe the purpose of creating anything Christian is to help people who are trying to be Christian, at any point in their spiritual journey. I include myself in that group I’m hoping to help. After all, I could probably write a few vampire books myself, if I set my mind to it.
So when I think about how we can create or support an “Orthodox culture,” I’m saying it with the understanding that such a culture would be for the edification, support, and, I hope, enjoyment of any person who wants an alternative to everything hateful and destructive in this fallen world.