Later at noon, I will be teaching at an apologetics seminar for a Christian college fellowship
Here is the outline:
WHAT CULTURE IS, IT’S CHARACTER AND THE CHRISTIAN ANTITHESIS
- What is culture?
- It is derived from the Latin ‘colere,’ which simply signifies the tilling or cultivating of the ground.”
- Culture arises out of humans
- Humans make culture.
- Humans participate in culture.
- If nature is the first environment, then culture is his second environment.
- Sometimes culture touches on the natural, which man modifies.
- Illustration of Natural v.s. cultural
- Nature: An ocean.
- Cultural: A pool.
- Culture is a pattern of beliefs, behavior and values that a community of people hold to.
- Characteristics of culture
- Culture is concern with values
- It tells us what is and what is not allowed.
- Culture tells us what is valuable and the worth of people, places and things.
- Culture is not religiously neutral
- All things are to be done for His glory (1Corinthians 10:31).
- To do otherwise, would be violating God’s command for his creature, and thus not neutral towards God.
- Culture is not morally neutral
- Everything that man does come from his heart.
- Culture is concern with values
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
All that man does will include culture
- Man’s heart is wicked.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
- Culture is social in nature
- It involves a community and not just an individual
- Example: Art display, ways of speaking, etc.
- Culture is unavoidable
- Man can not help but to be involved in a society, a “second” environment created by other human beings.
- We live in a culture, and how we live shows cultural influence.
- Culture changes
- Since culture is man-made, it is also able to be changed.
- The Christian response: Pressing the antithesis, and reconstruction for the glory of God
- Summary: A Christian should not uncritically accept things just because it’s part of their culture; a Christian should engage in culture in a fashion that gives God the glory.
- Since cultures are concerned with values, Christian must measure it to the Word of God
- The Bible and not culture, is the authority for right and wrong, and values.
- Culture could be wrong.
- There needs to be a standard that transcends culture.
- We cannot use rules and standards for our culture to address another culture as right or wrong,
- A universal timeless standard is required.
- Since cultures are not religiously neutral, Christians must not offend God in their cultural pursuit.
- Once again, a Christian is to enjoy God and glorify Him.
- There is a danger therefore, of being too much like the current culture
“But in a society where Christianity is being widely and rapidly disowned, where evangelism is often considered inherently intolerant or even officially classified as a hate crime…the culture to which we would conform in order to be relevant becomes so inextricably entwined with antagonism to the Gospel that to conform to it must mean a loss of the Gospel itself.”
- Ungodly elements within a culture must be challenged (1Corinthians 10:5).
- Since cultures are not morally neutral, Christians must speak out against evils within culture.
- Cultures could be wrong.
- These wrongs must be addressed by Christians (Proverbs 31: 8-9)
- Since cultures are social in nature, Christians must watch who they are socializing with
- “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
- It is wise to ask ourselves, “Who are we keeping in our company?”
- Since culture is unavoidable, Christians must engage the culture and contribute to it for the glory of God
- Since culture can change, by the grace of God, Christians must share the gospel in their culture.
- Christians must not forget the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Christians must realize that cultures change, trends die down, but eternity has been set in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
- People ultimately need the Gospel for salvation, not just a culture.
 Henry R. Van Til, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1972), 29.
 Mark Dever, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2004), 27-28.
 For example, see Francis Schaeffer’s book on Art and the Bible.
 Hans Roomaker’s book is in the spirit, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture.