dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Reviewing Humble Orthodoxy, Week 10

Title: Discern Your Culture
Speaker: Al Mohler
Session: Main Session #3, Na07
Date: May 27, 2007

Main Text
Matthew 22:23-33

Some Opening Thoughts
It’s obvious, at this point, that I will not be able to finish posts on all five remaining messages. I think I’ll probably be able to fit one more in before the conference, and simply listen to the rest in my car (which I am excited to do).

This message is typical Al Mohler content. Even typing at a keyboard, I usually found myself unable to keep up with him. There is one thing that I must comment on, though, since I strongly disagree him: cargo shorts are a good thing. (No, there’s no good reason for having iPods hanging out of them, but Dr. Mohler slammed cargos in general.) They’re great for carrying around wallets, keys, cell phones, notepads...

A Brief Outline
–> What is discernment? It is not only knowing what is right; it is knowing how important something is, what’s central versus what’s peripheral, what are truth issues versus what are taste issues.
–> What is culture? A system of language, symbols, laws, products, and institutions, along with presuppositions, that emerge from the human situation.
5 Wrong Mottoes for dealing with the culture
1. Let’s get completely wet
–> Just dive in and assume it’s all neutral.
2. Let’s stay completely dry
–> Have nothing to do with the culture.
–> This is not possible (at least, not Biblically possible). A big danger is thinking that we’re not in the culture when we really are.
3. Let’s take a dip
–> Dropping in the culture as it’s convenient; or dropping in thinking that we can then dry ourselves completely off.
–> The truth, however, is that there’s no basic way to enter the culture without being in contact with the entire system.
4. Let’s take a sip
–> “We’re going to understand another culture by doing an immersion experience for a little while, then we’ll understand them.”
–> This, however, is naive.
5. Let’s treat culture by watching it like it’s an aquarium
–> You can’t just look at a culture from a distance. This is a great challenge for missions and evangelism.
–> The most dangerous things about our culture are the things we don’t even notice anymore. For Christians, this is particularly dangerous, because often the last things we see with the eyes of Christ are those things that are closest to us.

Other Points
–> You can’t have maturity without discernment; one of the signs of maturity is discernment.
–> Matthew 22:23-33
–> The two main criteria we are to use in evaluating the culture are love of God and love of neighbor, in that order.
–> Nothing tells us so much about ourselves as our loves, and that which we love most is our God.
–> Why do we love our neighbor? Because we love God, and because God loves our neighbor.
–> Every one of those persons with whom we will share the Gospel is deeply entwined in the culture.
–> Augustine’s two cities: there is a heavenly city, and there is an earthly city. There are two loves corresponding to the two cities: love of God, and love of man.
–> If the heavenly city is marked by the love of God, then, for Christians, the earthly city is the place where God’s love is our responsibility.
–> One of the earliest Christians put it this way: “for us, no place is home, and every place is home.”
–> Our epistemology is rooted in the fact that we believe that God has spoken to us in the Scriptures. We have a means of epistemological rescue: our knowledge is not limited to what any culture can tell us. We do not judge the Scriptures by the culture, but the culture by the Scriptures.
–> Ethnicity, race, and cultural differences are not things we should see as evidence of a fallen humanity, but as evidences of a glorious God.
–> When Jesus humbled Himself to take on humanity, he also humbled Himself to take on certain forms of culture (language, dress, food). He entered the culture, but He was not bound by that system. He was, at one and the same time, Lord and Master of that system.
–> We are not saved from culture; we are saved from sin.
–> Wherever the church is, it is a counterculture in the midst of its culture.
–> Discernment means understanding that we are fish swimming in a giant, toxic sea. We aren’t supposed to jump out of the water; but, one day, we will be snatched out of the water.
–> The most important things about the will of God, we already know. Scripture has already revealed to us almost everything we will ever need to know about the will of God.

Some Application Questions
–> Do I tend to fall into any of the five errors in the way I treat the culture?
–> Do I evaluate the culture based on love of God and love of neighbor?
–> What are some aspects of culture that I don’t even notice anymore? What might some of the dangers be?

One Thing That Has Stuck With Me
I remembered him going over the five wrong mottoes toward culture. I’m not sure, however, if I could have named them all, so re-listening was definitely helpful.

One Thing I Re-learned By Re-listening
I want to make it a point to specifically ask myself, when evaluating culture, how my thoughts are based on a Biblically understanding of love of God and love of neighbor.

–> What are one or two things that you learned in listening to this teaching?
–> If you were re-listening to it, what are some ways that God has used this teaching in your life over the last two years?
–> Also, feel free to give suggestions on the focus and format of these posts.
–> Finally, as great as it is to be able to talk about this online, talk about it personally with people you know. Use it as an opportunity to share with each other what God is teaching you, and how He has given (and is giving) you the grace to apply it.

This was Week 10 in the fifteen weeks of reviewing humble orthodoxy, leading up to New Attitude 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky on May 24-27. Listen to “Discern Your Culture” for free.

Next Week: Discern Your Heart (C.J. Mahaney)

Background on this series: Humble Orthodoxy



Blogger Megan said...

I would have to say that I am more of a "Painter Pants" kind of a person rather than the Cargo. But that's just me :-)

I'll comment again later when I have something more profound to say.... or at least profound to me.

5/15/2008 4:38 PM


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