One of the most amazing things about the writing of the Bible is that God did not turn the writers into robots to get the writing done. Each writer has their own vocabulary, grammar, etc that is slightly different than the other writers. God didn’t dictate every word.
God uses the writers given their particular time, language and culture to communicate the good news about Jesus or the message of God to the world in which they lived in the language of the day.
All three of those – time, language, and culture change over time while the core truth of the Gospel remains the same. The Gospel message is timeless truth AND, not BUT, it is always communicated couched in a culture. There is no way way around this. It may not seem like this is the case because we are so immersed in our particular culture that we may not be aware of how others hear and understand the same information – an honor/shame culture in the East vs a guilt/innocence culture in the West both emphasize different aspects of the Good news.
It is vitally important for the future of God’s people to be students of culture. Many of us are students of Christ and students of church…but few are students of culture.
If we don’t understand the people around us we won’t understand how to reach them.
If we don’t understand Christ we won’t have anything with which to reach them.
If we don’t understand church we won’t have a body of believers to assimilate people into.
We also need to understand, not just the culture of the world, but the culture of our churches. Ideally the culture of our churches would be summed up in one word and that is the “Word”. Jesus. The culture of our churches should be a Jesus culture and when it is a Jesus culture our church culture will understand the world’s culture in order to reach them with the good news about the kingdom.
This month we will dissect and intersect Christ, Church and Culture. I am looking forward to the conversation and I hope you will dive in and let us know what you think!