Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Christ and Culture, part 2

I gave my initial thoughts on the whole situation between Christ and Culture, and I realize the break between my last post and this one is quite large. I guess to some degree this post is more of a part 1 redone. But I thought it would be good to discuss what culture is and how it is formed to give a grounds to what I say. The next few paragraphs are directly from the paper I'm currently working on.

What exactly is culture, and how does it take form? It is important to have an understanding of what culture is in order to adequately answer the question of Christ and culture. Culture, in the most practical application of the word, is the expression of beliefs, values, and ethics of people groups, or societies. This expression becomes visible in a plethora of ways ranging from art and music, to the writings or stories, and even to the very way the people act with each other within their group or society. With the many varieties of cultures that any one person can experience within their lifetime it is easy to see that there are many approaches to any one problem, and as a result many answers. Culture is such an integral part of the human life that I would argue it is impossible to act outside of the culture one is in without creating some type of side culture; it is as if it is a part of who we are. Indeed, many would say that our culture is what shapes us into the people we will become, and are. Thus, as culture changes, so too do those who are immersed within it.

How is culture formed? I believe it is formed through our words and the actions that follow them. An example of this would be whenever there was a major shift in the eras of human history (Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, etc.) they are started by words first, be it written or vocalized, and then actions followed through. For instance, the act that really lead to the reformation for many people was Martin Luther's posting of the ninety-five theses. To put it simply, I believe words can create and shape culture. This is why it is so important for Christians to understand what scripture teaches on communication, for it is through our communication (and not just in words) that we can shape and create culture around ourselves. In fact, there is already different forms of what we call Christian culture, and sadly, many of them I find to be a poor representation of what Christ wanted of His church. What is worse, some even hinder the furthering of the Gospel. It is with this understanding that our words are much more potent than many realize that I seek the answer to the question: What does scripture teach about communication?

More to come as the paper progresses. Grace and Peace

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