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Christian culture

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series

"A New Testament Understanding of Culture"

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We are in the midst of a series on New Testament implications of the idea that culture is essentially behavior. Here are the previous two implications:

  1. New Testament authors explain cultural differences between various people groups as differences of belief and value.
  2. New Testament authors identify people groups (ethnicities, tribes, nations, etc.) as those of common ancestral heritage who share common culture flowing from common values.

The third implication is that New Testament authors demand that the culture of Christians be holy, pure, and distinct from the culture of unbelievers. Rather than understanding culture to be neutral, New Testament authors judge unbelieving culture as worthy of condemnation. They expect Christians, therefore, to reject the culture shaped by the world’s systems and to form a new way of life impacted by biblical values. The culture produced from unbelief is not neutral; it is depraved. As Mark Snoeberger notes, “Cultural neutrality is a myth and culture is hostile toward God; just as man is individually depraved in microcosm, so also culture is corporately depraved in macrocosm.”1

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.



Endnotes:

  1. Snoeberger, “Noetic Sin, Neutrality, and Contextualization,” 357. []

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