Cultural Change and Biblical Faith
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Not the Bible, but culture! Truly, culture trumps vision, mission and even the anointing! Jesus even said that the traditions of men nullify the word of God Mark 7: In conclusion, if the church is going to be an effective witness for Christ, we have to exalt the universal truth of Scripture and exalt Christ as Lord of all even over our ethnic and national culture.
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While it is very difficult to take ourselves out of our culture to critique it one person said it is like trying to push a bus while you are sitting in it! We may not be able to separate religion from culture or culture from religion, but we can separate ourselves to God in holiness and be His mouthpiece to the nations of the world, even as He called the prophet Jeremiah to accurately deliver what He had seen from God read Jeremiah 1.
Finally, we have to trust that the gates of hell will not overcome the church the gates of hell are the pinnacle and power base of a culture, i. The White House , but we, following the Scriptures and the leading of Lord trust in Jesus who is the One True Light that gives light to every man coming into the world, a light that transcends culture, because He is the One who created the humanity that frame culture John 1: Thank you for this insightful post Bishop Mattera.
The Church must renew the mind to walk in faith transformed in Chirst. Thanks for making it clear that our perception should always be based off the scriptures and not of this world system. Good share, especially for those who are seeking deeper questions such as how to grow church here in America.
Christianity and Culture
As young ministers we are searching for the answers what went wrong with the present church. I think the transition was, we are slowly losing the conviction over the content. But we Islams view the circle our faith and the rest is just a dot. Please enter a valid email address. Please confirm your password. Password and password confirmation do not match. Daily Blog , Faith and Culture. October 1, at 4: February 28, at 4: February 27, at 5: The major Greek influence at the time was Plato.
His philosophy was more idealistic and absolute in its approach to doctrine. Simple believers, they thought, could focus on the earthly, crucified Jesus but the theologically advanced were now to focus on the transcendent, cosmic Christ. They went from the earthly ascending Christ as the Son of God who was baptized, exalted and rose from the dead to the descending Christology which focused upon John 1 and portions of Philippians, Colossians and Hebrews, emphasizing His pre-existence and incarnation.
Finally, the faith went from being explained through simple biblical language as found in Scripture, biblical narratives, and church hymns to it being explained with contemporary Greek concepts such as hypostasis , ousia , prosopon and Latin terms such as substantia and persona. The Greek Orthodox Church still emphasizes this restoration to the image of God. This is why they utilize icons—images of the saints of old—which they have on their church walls and carry on their person as aids in prayer, inspiration, and faith as they venerate these ancient saints.
The Roman Latin Church After Origin, the most influential church doctor teacher was Augustine the bishop of Hippo, who, although he lived in North Africa, brought the emphasis of the church back to the Pauline epistles justification by faith through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But Augustine also advocated a strong hierarchical infrastructure of the church that many consider the genesis and backbone of the present Roman Catholic structure.
He believed in the power of the episcopate church rule by bishops which produced a hierarchical structure in the church reminiscent of the dominant culture of his time. Theologically, Augustine brought the church back to emphasizing the epistles of Paul and the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the focal point of preaching and teaching.
How Culture Transforms Biblical Beliefs and Church Practice — Charisma News
He brought the church from that which was peripheral in the early church the cosmic, pre-existent Christ to the core essentials of the faith related to the life, death, resurrection and second bodily return of Jesus. Medieval Times and Scholasticism During Medieval times a revival of Aristotle from the works of the Muslim philosopher Averroes and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides was spreading skepticism, mostly from the University of Paris.
Thus, jumping ahead to Thomas Aquinas we see a shift in the church to a more Aristotelian theology, with its emphasis on particulars and pragmatism rather than on abstract thought and idealism. To counter this emphasis on Aristotle that was spreading skepticism, Aquinas presented a synthesis of Aristotle and Scripture. Rather than merely refute everything Averroes, Maimonides and others wrote as they referenced Aristotle, Aquinas attempted to reconcile their teachings with Scripture in his still popular Summa Theologica systematic summation of theological knowledge.
He knew that traditional Augustinianism, which previously governed everything, was now inadequate with the rediscovery of Aristotle. They needed a faith that utilized the latest philosophical concepts for rational thought and analysis.
Because of this Aquinas created a theological and philosophical synthesis. This emphasis on Aristotle greatly affected culture.
The shift went from the abstract idealistic Plato to the pragmatic in which Aquinas presented a view in which there are two kinds of truth: Faith is necessary to believe the higher truths such as the incarnation, the Trinity, and salvation from sin. This is the first time a Christian theologian taught that truth could be learned by a human being apart from God-given revelation. It was a seismic shift that opened up the door to great advances in science through independent study utilizing the rational mind.
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But it also led, centuries later, to modernity in which truth went from what works the ethics of Aristotle to empiricism what is true is only that which can be proven through scientific methods. Thus, the church responded to the rediscovery of Aristotle and adapted its theology to a scholastic approach in which truth had to be verified by numerous things corresponding scientifically to each other.
This led to the Enlightenment and, as noted before, empirical science, which then led to rationalism and reductionism, which then led to higher criticism of the Bible in which even the authenticity of the authorship of Scripture was being questioned as well as the canonicity of many books of the Bible. Thus, liberal Protestant mainstream denominations are still stuck in this mode that was first introduced by culture. Unfortunately, we see that as all this evolved it was the church that harnessed the very ideology that has destroyed the faith of many denominations to this present day!
Fundamentalists reacted by isolating themselves from the world, science, and education, and espousing a Biblicist approach in which only the Bible was studied. Thus, they became Biblicists those who only read the Bible and shun academia similar to the ancient Gnostics who believed that only spiritual things were important and that the material world was something to be escaped from! This tendency to escape culture opened up the door for hyper-dispensational, pre-millennial theology to dominate fundamentalist Bible institutes and colleges, resulting in the church focusing on waiting for the rapture, the anti-Christ, and preparing for heaven rather than engaging the culture and bringing Christ to culture.
Thus, we went from the pre-Civil War Puritan emphasis of Christ over culture to Christ separate from culture. Just save me and the family. No creeping things and no termites. Noah did not do that. He did all that God commanded him. Day after day, Noah obeyed. Week after week, Noah obeyed. Month after month, Noah obeyed, slowly but surely building the ark. Year after year, Noah obeyed, seeming to others to waste his life.
Decade after decade, he persisted in obedience until it was finally finished. The statement is repeated in Genesis 7: The postmodernist is suspicious and skeptical of all types of authority: God, family, government, church, and the Bible. Several years ago, quite a few now, I asked my oldest son then about three or four to go into his room and pick up his toys. And you know what? Then I got the rod out, and my son was hurting. He quickly learned that he could not say those words, and I do not believe I heard them again.
But disobedience, I learned, could take more subtle forms. I know areas I need to address in my own life. When it comes to obedience, we are in direct conflict with our culture, BUT God will walk with those of Noah-like obedience.
Noah was not only a man of faith and obedience, but also a man of godly character. God saw that Noah was righteous. In Hebrew, the word is singular. So it could be understood in this context: In New Testament terminology, Noah was above reproach. Noah was not perfect. He had failures, as we see him getting drunk after the flood and exposing his nakedness in an improper fashion. He was not only righteous in character, but according to 2 Peter 3: For the postmodernist, there is no morality, only expediency.
If it works, do it. Explore your full potential in any area. Like Noah, could God write of us that we were blameless, righteous in our conduct? Am I blameless in my relationships? Am I blameless at work? Do I have the character that I stand up and do the right thing when all those around me are doing the wrong thing?
This is not about reputation, but character. Reputation is what people think about us; character is what God knows about us. Are we at least trying to go in the right direction? Someone might think the days of Noah are long past. Jesus stated in regard to His second coming,. Eating, drinking, marrying; everything is normal; everything is always going to continue as it was. Yes, we need to live our lives, but I want to suggest that we live them as Noah did — not conformed to the culture around us but conformed to what God says and what God wants us to do.
Paul writes in Romans Moody, the great American evangelist of the 19 th century, is estimated to have personally led 1 million people to faith in Jesus Christ. Also, he had very little educational background and never went to high school. One biographer put it this way: The following is some general background on a cultural trend in America known as postmodernism: New Testament up to Enlightenment. An atmosphere of confidence governed the expectation that agreement in understanding could be reached.
There was a general belief in the supernatural and that God was acting in history. Enlightenment through most of 20 th Century. Most begin it in A. Truth and the greater good were to be pursued and obtained intellectually through human reason and science. The stories of the supernatural Bible were relegated to purely naturalistic explanations. Since God did not act in history, man was responsible for his own fate. There is a suspicion that any understanding is achievable through rational methods.