Tag Archives: Articles on Culture

Practice Makes Perfect: Culture and the Liturgies of Life

Practice Makes Perfect: Culture and the Liturgies of Life

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

So here are the primary points of my argument: Culture is the behavior of a people. The formation of certain kinds of behaviors falls squarely in the nature, purpose, and mission of churches. The cultivation of holy living necessarily involves shaping the inclinations of hearts. The heart’s inclinations are shaped through habitual practices. Liturgies are… Continue Reading

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Over the past several weeks I have been making the argument that in order to shape the behavior–the culture–of a people, we must give attention to the inclinations of their hearts, and such inclincations are shaped through habits. Let us bring this full circle. I have argued that liturgies form us because they embody beliefs… Continue Reading

Corporate Worship is Formative

Corporate Worship is Formative

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I mentioned that we are inevitably shaped by worldly liturgies, and so we need something to counteract this. This is where it will be useful to narrow the definition of leitourgia to how it has been used at least since the LXX as the work of the people in corporate worship. Most evangelicals… Continue Reading

Worldly Liturgies

Worldly Liturgies

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Our aim over the past several weeks has been to discover how Christians can cultivate higher inclinations toward what is true and good, but we must recognize that the reverse also happens—deformation of our inclinations. Again, our actions are not always the outcome of rational choices, and this is true of sinful behavior as well. Sometimes… Continue Reading

The Form of the Liturgy

The Form of the Liturgy

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Behavior is shaped by liturgies because, as Lewis stated, our inclinations are organized through trained habits, and habits are formed through rituals. And it is the shape of those rituals that cultivates the habits, because the form of the liturgy embodies certain values. Allow me to illustrate. Imagine a dense forest separating two cities. In… Continue Reading

The People’s Work

The People’s Work

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Perhaps one of the best ways to help us contemplate how behavior is shaped in the way that I have been explaining over the past several weeks is by considering the nature of behavior as we discussed it a few weeks back. I have suggested that culture is the behavior of a people. It is the ergon… Continue Reading

T. David Gordon’s Foreword to By the Waters of Babylon

T. David Gordon’s Foreword to By the Waters of Babylon

The following is the foreword to By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post Christian Culture by Scott Aniol. The surprising acrimony that sometimes attended the “worship wars” of the last several decades suggested that we were talking past each other; that what we were talking about was somehow the tip of a larger, undiscussed iceberg beneath… Continue Reading

Make Disciples

Make Disciples

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I argued that culture is essentially the behavior of a people. Here is the second peg to the argument I am developing over these several weeks: The cultivation of culture should be a concern for conservative Christians because the formation of certain kinds of behaviors falls squarely in the nature, purpose, and mission of… Continue Reading

Culture and the Liturgies of Life

Culture and the Liturgies of Life

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Evangelicals today are enamored with culture. Visit any Christian blog or pick up a catalogue of recent Christian books, and you will likely find discussions of the cultural mandate, redeeming culture, forming culture, and creating culture. This matter is of particular concern to conservative Christians. We often find ourselves in the role of cultural critic,… Continue Reading

Theological Issues at Stake in Discussions of Culture and Contextualization

Theological Issues at Stake in Discussions of Culture and Contextualization

Discussion of culture is an essential ingredient in any intelligent philosophy of Christian music. Especially in today’s globalized, multicultural environment, understanding what culture is and how it relates to worship and music is critical. The Standard Evangelical View J. Nathan Corbitt, in his The Sound of the Harvest: Music’s Mission in Church and Culture,1 presents an… Continue Reading

Culture is human behavior

Culture is human behavior

Evangelicals today are enamored with culture. Visit any Christian blog or pick up a catalog of recent Christian books, and you will likely find discussions of the cultural mandate, redeeming culture, forming culture, and creating culture. This matter is of particular concern to conservative Christians. We often find ourselves in the role of cultural critic,… Continue Reading

What does it mean to be “culturally affirming”?

What does it mean to be “culturally affirming”?

I was recently directed to a blog post that rejoiced in the fact that certain segments of conservative evangelicalism were becoming more “culturally affirming.” The specific incident the author cited involved an institution changing its philosophy of music from a more conservative to a more progressive one. So this got me thinking: what did this… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 4: What the Passage Means (vv21-22)

All Things to All Men | Part 4: What the Passage Means (vv21-22)

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am writing a series of posts on the meaning of 1 Cor 9:19-23, in particular his comment in verse 22, “I have become all things to all people.” The first post in the series looked at the broader context in chapters 8 and 9. Then I explored some interpretative principles in Paul’s greater writings that… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men | Part 3: What the Passage Means (vv19-20)

All Things to All Men | Part 3: What the Passage Means (vv19-20)

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series All Things to All Men You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Cor 9:22, Paul writes, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” This is series on the meaning of 1 Cor 9:19-23, and those words in particular. In the first post, I introduced the problematic way many evangelicals and missiologists interpret this passage. Many understand this… Continue Reading

New Creatures–New Culture

New Creatures–New Culture

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series A New Testament Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Culture is the same as behavior, and I am explaining in this series implications from the New Testament based on that idea. Here are the previous implications: New Testament authors explain cultural differences between various people groups as differences of belief and value. New Testament authors identify people groups (ethnicities, tribes, nations, etc.) as those… Continue Reading

A New Testament Understanding of Culture

A New Testament Understanding of Culture

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series A New Testament Understanding of Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There is a lot of talk about culture these days, but I’m convinced that most of the people who talk about it have never really given careful thought to what, exactly, culture is. I have argued elsewhere that the parallel concept to “culture” in the New Testament is not terms related to race or ethnic identity, nor… Continue Reading