The Importance of Culture in Theology
Although all people have different cultures and backgrounds, we need to emphasize how different these cultures are from each other. When we move into another culture, our natural tendency is to judge it with our own beliefs and practices. We would see things that we do not understand or comprehend, whereas of course it would make sense to people within the culture.
It is clear that we must differentiate between the gospel and the cultural media in which it is ...view middle of the document...
Musical instruments were once banned from church, but now we praise God with them. Why not accept adultery when our society condones it? However, the bible clearly warns that it is sinful.
The gospel is distinct from culture, but it must be expressed in a cultural mold to be understood by men. It must be accurately translated into each culture so that people may understand and believe. Many biblical customs can only be understood in terms of their cultural and time. The practice of taking several wives was cultural accepted in the Old Testament, but we cannot say that is God's will for mankind because it is recorded in the bible. We should plant the gospel, not import a culture. We need to bring people to Christ and to study the bible for themselves, trusting that the Holy Spirit will guide them into a deeper understanding of the truth. However, the greatest barrier to evangelism and church planting is not the gospel, but the foreignness of the language and forms in which it is communicated.
The gospel cannot be transmitted apart from culture because we need culture to be used as a medium of communicating ideas.