Christian Faith Promotes Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity was built into the Christian faith…in Acts 15, which declared that the new gentile Christians didn’t have to enter Jewish culture…The converts had to work out…a Hellenistic way of being a Christian.  [So] no one owns the Christian faith.  There is no ‘Christian culture’ the way there is an “Islamic” culture which you recognize from Pakistan to Tunisia to Morocco…

– Andrew Wall

as quoted by Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Reason, copyright 2008, page 44

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3 thoughts on “Christian Faith Promotes Cultural Diversity

  1. I disagree very strongly. In practice Christianity (or Churchianity maybe) now promotes cultural death; everywhere I go, Christian culture is the same – derived from American charismatic evangelicalism. Preachers wear Western suits and talk in American ‘language of Zion’, worship involves the same tedious soft-rock style of interminable singing (and the same songs), sermons studiously avoid mention of service to the poor & downtrodden and politics are viciously right wing. This is the case in the US, the UK, Korea and African countries, for example. I say this as an evangelical Christian who observes it.

    I travel quite often in the Islamic world and I’d say there is just as great a cultural diversity as there is in any other parts of the world. Morocco bears no resemblance culturally to Indonesia or Saudi Arabia. The differences are as great a those between Iceland and Greece.

    This whole premise seems to be a shallow excuse to attack Islam. There are enough genuine shortcomings in Islamic belief to have a robust discussion without falsely claiming it has created a mono-culture. The only rapidly spreading mono-culture infecting the world right now is American.

    • Though I cannot point to the same range and quantity of travel you have made, I am in disagreement with you position. Using Islam as an example, to be a true follower, one must read its text in the original language. The Bible, however, is being translated into hundreds of dialects so as to fit within the culture that it is being given too.

      While not denying the reality of Churchianity as you put it, I would further say that all that claims to be the church is not a claim that is truthful, no matter how much the claimant may feel it is. And I agree that the American culture is prevalent far beyond our borders, I happen to live in a suburb of Atlanta and am surrounded by Korean, Chinese and Indian “communities” that maintain their own identity, language and culture within what once was considered the blight of the American landscape, the suburbs.

      Have a good day.

  2. Just stumbled upon this blog. Seems to me that vincemillett only attends the “non-denominational” churches. I’ve been to enough of those churches, and I’m sorry but they’re just weird! They rely on the charisma of their pastor and their music band more than communion with God. (Simply my opinion.)

    There is a huge variety within Christianity. Go to a Methodist church, then a Catholic, then a Pentecostal, then a Mormon, then a Jehovah’s Witness meeting and you’ll see what I mean. About the only thing they have in common is the Bible (except the Catholics–not sure about them).

    Being Mormon myself, I can assure you, Vince, there are worship services and cultures out there that bear little resemblance to what you view as “standard” Christianity. I guess this depends on what you choose to say defines a Christian. Because we don’t believe in the Trinity, per se, and accept more than just the Bible as scripture, some say we’re not Christian. I guess that makes us pagan or something. Anyway, I say anyone who thinks himself a Christian is one.

    And there is huge variety within each of these denominations. Although the Mass may be similar, the culture of a Catholic in South America is vastly different than the Catholic culture in, say, France. I’m talking about how they interact within the community. They’re core is the same–a follower of Christ and His teachings–but how they express themselves is wonderfully diverse.

    Anyway, I’m ranting I guess. Thanks for the post.

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