Culture Meets Scripture
Discovering biblical answers for cultural concerns
Culture Meets Scripture (CMS) is a locally initiated participatory workshop to facilitate vernacular Scripture engagement and reflection in order to resolve in-culture concerns. The CMS experience helps indigenous churches to thoughtfully consider how the Scriptures speak to traditional practices within their culture, and how they can navigate cultural and social differences by developing biblical and God-honoring responses which are culturally authentic.
These responses can be summarized as: We used to think that ________. But we didn’t know that God’s Word tells us ________. As a result, we now ________.
CMS has been customized especially for the Americas and utilizes three underlying global principles which enable the workshop to be indigenously relevant and reproducible:
- Vernacular language – CMS promotes local language as a valid medium to discuss issues of religious importance. For two millennia the Bible has transcended human boundaries of communication so that God’s Word can be incarnated in the vital concerns of a community.
- Practical theology – Biblical reflection must be done in the local church by each new generation. To be meaningful it must address local concerns. “Theology is about testing your actions by Scripture.” (Walls, 1996)
- Participative investigation and discovery – Learning must avoid external dependencies, encourage local ownership, and practice proven educational principles:
The CMS workshop is organized in five sequential modules:
- Description of practices and changes that have taken place.
- Comparison with relevant Scriptures
- Resolution and Transformation
- Participant Consensus
- Action Planning
This process isn’t merely about superficially describing traditional practices; rather, it is about recognizing the reasons for these practices and how Scripture speaks to the motivations for them. By comparing the underlying beliefs of these practices with what we learn from God in the Bible, we can learn how to apply God’s truth to living within one’s culture in ways that are healthy and appropriate.
It is then possible to make informed decisions about how to maintain and/or modify, their responses to traditions and rituals. Action planning is the final step. It is the consensus plan for taking ownership by implementing conscious decisions based on awareness of the past, and understanding of the Word of God. The CMS workshop is very reproducible, so it is possible for the participants to continue teaching and sharing this approach with others in their community.
Click here to communicate with us about Culture Meets Scripture and any questions you may have.
Additional workshops (under development):
- Cultural Awareness (Empatia Cultural)
- Cross-Cultural Communication workshop