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:
- 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 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
- Snoeberger, “Noetic Sin, Neutrality, and Contextualization,” 357. [↩]