God & culture


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slides from class lectures on the relationship between God and culture.

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God & culture

  1. 1. God& Culture
  2. 2. Does Godhave a“culture?”
  3. 3. Features ofCultureCulture has asocial dimension-it binds peopletogether.
  4. 4. Features ofCultureCulture alsodivides-itdistinguishes usfrom oneanother.
  5. 5. Features ofCultureCulture placesconstraints onbehavior.
  6. 6. God &CultureGod is a creatorof culture.
  7. 7. God &CultureGod establishedthe parametersfor the firstculture.
  8. 8. Genesis 1:26Then God said, ―Let us make man in ourimage, in our likeness, and let them rule overthe fish of the sea and the birds of the air, overthe livestock, over all the earth, and over all thecreatures that move along the ground.‖
  9. 9. What is“dominion” and whatimplications does ithave forculture?
  10. 10. hd:r:To rule over
  11. 11. hd:r: What is the connectionbetween “ruling” and the divine image?
  12. 12. Psalm8:6-8You made him ruler over the works of yourhands; you put everything under his feet: allflocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, thebirds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all thatswim the paths of the seas.
  13. 13. lvm;This is the kind of “dominion” that Christ exercises.
  14. 14. Hebrews 2:7-8In putting everything under him, God leftnothing that is not subject to him. Yet at presentwe do not see everything subject to him.
  15. 15. Genesis 1:28God blessed them and said to them, ―Be fruitfuland increase in number; fill the earth andsubdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and thebirds of the air and over every living creaturethat moves on the ground.’
  16. 16. What doesthecommand tobe “fruitful”imply?
  17. 17. God had morein view thanincreasing thepopulation.
  18. 18. It is acommand toestablishhuman culture.
  19. 19. It creates thepotential forthe reflectionof God inhumanculture.
  20. 20. God set theboundariesof behaviorand enforcedthem.
  21. 21. Genesis 2:16-17And the LORD God commanded the man, ―Youare free to eat from any tree in the garden; butyou must not eat from the tree of the knowledgeof good and evil, for when you eat of it you willsurely die.‖
  22. 22. Genesis 3:23-24So the LORD God banished him from theGarden of Eden to work the ground from whichhe had been taken. After he drove the manout, he placed on the east side of the Garden ofEden cherubim and a flaming sword flashingback and forth to guard the way to the tree oflife.
  23. 23. God &CultureGod setboundaries forthe culture ofworship.
  24. 24. Genesis 4:3-5In the course of time Cain brought some of thefruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. ButAbel brought fat portions from some of thefirstborn of his flock. The LORD looked withfavor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain andhis offering he did not look with favor. So Cainwas very angry, and his face was downcast.
  25. 25. The Cultural Agenda of theLaw of Moses God revealed the priestly codes to Moses in 1445 B.C. at Sinai, immediately after the construction of the tabernacle. The purpose of these was to provide professional guidance for the priests and a detailed liturgy for the new house of God. J. Barton Payne, The Theology of the Older Testament, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962), 326.
  26. 26. God &CultureIn the Law ofMoses, God alsolegislated nearlyevery aspect ofhuman society.
  27. 27. The Cultural Agenda of theLaw of Moses The Deuteronomic codes, on the other hand, were revealed on the plains of Moab almost forty years later, just before Israel entered Canaan, early in 1406 B.C….The purpose of the Deuteronomic codes was to guide the nation as a whole in its settlement in Canaan. They were popular instead of professional, as were the priestly codes. J. Barton Payne, The Theology of the Older Testament, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962), 326.
  28. 28. Is the Lawof MosesGod’s“ideal”culture?
  29. 29. 1 Timothy 1:9-11We also know that law is made not for therighteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, theungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious;for those who kill their fathers or mothers, formurderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slavetraders and liars and perjurers—and for whateverelse is contrary to the sound doctrine thatconforms to the glorious gospel of the blessedGod, which he entrusted to me.
  30. 30. Colossians2:16-17Therefore do not let anyone judge you by whatyou eat or drink, or with regard to a religiousfestival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbathday. These are a shadow of the things that wereto come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
  31. 31. Hebrews 10:1The law is only a shadow of the good things thatare coming—not the realities themselves. Forthis reason it can never, by the same sacrificesrepeated endlessly year after year, make perfectthose who draw near to worship.
  32. 32. Is theresuch athing as“GospelCulture?”
  33. 33. Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave norfree, male nor female, for you are all one inChrist Jesus.
  34. 34. Colossians3:11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised oruncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave orfree, but Christ is all, and is in all.
  35. 35. Paul emphasizesinclusiveness –in Christthere are no barbarians andno outsiders.
  36. 36. What arethe featuresof “GospelCulture?”
  37. 37. Colossians3:12-13Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy anddearly loved, clothe yourselves withcompassion, kindness, humility, gentleness andpatience. Bear with each other and forgivewhatever grievances you may have against oneanother. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
  38. 38. Colossians3:12-15Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy anddearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bearwith each other and forgive whatever grievancesyou may have against one another. Forgive as theLord forgave you. And over all these virtues puton love, which binds them all together in perfectunity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,since as members of one body you were called topeace. And be thankful.
  39. 39. Is patience amoral virtue?
  40. 40. Does it look the same inevery culture?
  41. 41. God &CultureGod’s Spirit is acatalyst ofculture.
  42. 42. Exodus 31:6Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son ofAhisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. AlsoI have given skill to all the craftsmen to makeeverything I have commanded you:
  43. 43. Exodus 35:30-31, 34-35Then Moses said to the Israelites, ―See, the LORDhas chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of thetribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spiritof God, with skill, ability and knowledge in allkinds of crafts—And he has given both him andOholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, theability to teach others…He has filled them with skillto do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers,embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn andfine linen, and weavers—all of them mastercraftsmen and designers.‖
  44. 44. Culture as a Reflection ofGod’s Image The work of the Holy Spirit is not confined to the elect, and does not begin with their regeneration; but it touches every creature, animate and inanimate and begins its operations in the elect at the very moment of their origin.Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), 38.
  45. 45. God &CultureGod is a creatorof culture butnot a learner ofculture.
  46. 46. Culture as a Reflection ofGod’s Image Culture is, first of all, the name for our relentless human effort to take the world as it’s given to us and make something else. This is the original insight of the writer of Genesis when he says that human beings were made in God’s image: just like the original Creator, we are creators. Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008), 23.
  47. 47. How doesourcreativeactivitydiffer fromGod’s?
  48. 48. God &CultureWe live within acontext ofalready existingculture.
  49. 49. God began with nothing.
  50. 50. We work with materialsthat have been providedas a result of God’screative activity.
  51. 51. Culture From Culture Because culture is cumulative-because every cultural good builds on and incorporates elements of culture that have come before-cultural creativity never starts from scratch. Culture is what we make of the world-we start not with a blank slate but with all the richly encultured world that previous generations handed to us . Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008), 73.
  52. 52. We work within pre-existing culturalstructures as those who have alreadybeen shaped by culture.
  53. 53. How doessin affectculture?
  54. 54. The first culturalartifactsmentioned in theBible weredesigned to dealwith theconsequences ofsin.
  55. 55. Genesis 3:7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, andthey realized they were naked; so they sewed figleaves together and made coverings forthemselves.
  56. 56. Genesis 3:21The LORD God made garments of skin forAdam and his wife and clothed them.
  57. 57. Some structures ofcultures are meantto address theconsequences ofsin.
  58. 58. Romans 13:1, 4Everyone must submit himself to the governingauthorities, for there is no authority except thatwhich God has established. The authorities thatexist have been established by God. For he isGod’s servant to do you good. But if you dowrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the swordfor nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent ofwrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
  59. 59. Some cultural structures were modifiedas a result of sin.
  60. 60. Matthew 19:8Jesus replied, ―Moses permitted you to divorceyour wives because your hearts were hard. But itwas not this way from the beginning.
  61. 61. Culturedeveloped withinthe context of afallen society.
  62. 62. Genesis 4:19-22Lamech married two women, one namedAdah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth toJabal; he was the father of those who live intents and raise livestock. His brother’s namewas Jubal; he was the father of all who playthe harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out ofbronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister wasNaamah.
  63. 63. Satan has acultural agenda.
  64. 64. Luke 4:5-7The devil led him up to a high place andshowed him in an instant all the kingdoms ofthe world. And he said to him, “I will give youall their authority and splendor, for it has beengiven to me, and I can give it to anyone I wantto. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
  65. 65. Kingdom Culture Jesus had a profoundly cultural phrase for his mission: the kingdom of God…His good news foretold a comprehensive restructuring of social life comparable to that experienced by a people when one monarch was succeeded by another. The Kingdom of God would touch every sphere of culture. Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2008), 138.
  66. 66. God &CultureGod is workingwithin culture aswell as working―against‖ it.