How do we connect culture to our faith? To answer that we have to understand the connection between culture and the Bible.
In my previous post I referred to a common definition of culture as the the “shared beliefs and values of a group of people.”
That definition has been used to define culture in Christian settings as well. But the problem with understanding culture only as values and behavior is that it makes the Bible a book of values and behaviors.
If we accept the definition of culture that has been given to us, we end up fitting our understanding of the Bible in to that definition. But that’s not what the Bible is.
The Bible on culture
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It is a book, but it’s a book by a Person. That Person, who we refer to as the Trinity, is beyond our ability to comprehend in every way. And yet God made himself one of us so that we relate to him.
So yes, the Bible does teach values. But it’s really teaching us to value what God values, and not just what set of human values should be in charge.
And yes, the Bible does teach us about behavior. But it is really teaching us what behaviors reflect who God is, not just which behaviors will win in God’s world.
To understand culture in a biblical way means looking at the Bible in a bigger way, and noticing where our views line up, and where they don’t.
This is actually where culture can help us. Since there is a connection between the God’s Word and culture, what we know about culture can help us look for this bigger picture in the Bible (Read more about this at FaithCulture.org).
We must always be on guard against interpreting the Bible to fit our view of culture. Culture may be part of God’s creation, but God’s Word has authority over creation.