Good theology begins with both biblical and cultural study.
After all, isn’t theology but a bridge to understanding God inside and outside our own cultural context? Theology is made for man, not for God; it’s through understanding cultural context that we move from thinking about theology to living it every day.
The pursuit of theology isn’t limited to students and professors. We’re all called to live and grow in the Word of God, and yet we all live in cultures that grow and develop under not-so-Christian influences.
The remedy? Study the Word of God. Then study the culture around you and become aware of the lenses through which you view the Word and the world.
Here are two series that will help you meet these goals:
Doing solid Bible study means consulting solid commentaries and study Bibles, and biblical exegesis that’s disconnected from the past is disconnected from the majority of Christendom. The Crossway Classic Commentaries series helps keep traditional interpretations of the Bible alive in the modern age. Alister McGrath and J. I. Packer bring the voices of the past to contemporary readers, testifying to the unchanging meaning of the Bible throughout the ages. Now, with the inclusion of Martin Luther’s recently released volume on Galatians, this 26-volume series covers 33 books of the Bible, all expounded by the legendary exegetes themselves—Thomas Manton, John Calvin, Charles Hodge, and J. C. Ryle, to name a few.
Keep your study of the Word planted firmly in the body of Christian history. Start studying the Crossway Classic Commentaries today for less than $26/month.
Once you have a solid grip on the meaning of the biblical text, it’s time to bring that truth to everyday life. But that’s much easier said than done, and “everyday life” can mean many different things. That’s why Baker Academic produces the Engaging and Exegeting Culture Series—it’s a scholarly attempt to look at day-to-day living from a biblical perspective. Theology, argues Kevin J. Vanhoozer in Everyday Theology, is both the study of the Word and the application of that Word to the world. He goes further, saying:
“The reason why theology must study God and contemporary culture is the same reason why preaching must connect both with the biblical text and the listener’s context: because disciples do not follow the gospel in a vacuum but wend their Christian way through particular times and places, each with its own problems and possibilities.”
Thus, Christians must understand culture from a biblical perspective in order to produce a biblical theology (and application) of it.
That leaves us with a very important question: how do you exegete culture?
You’ll have to dig into this series to find out! For just $27.50/month or less, begin reading these volumes today. The price you see is unique to you—you won’t be charged for the volumes you’ve already purchased. (Just make sure you’re signed in.)
How do you engage both the culture around you and the Word of God? Let us know in the comments!