On this edition of The Exchange, Ed interviews Darrell Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, to discuss the intersection of God and culture in today’s world.
“Life and theology go together. You can’t do New Testament and not do life. We’re trying to show how life and theology go together, how they actually fit, how God and culture actually do connect.”
Darrell Bock has devoted his life to New Testament studies and more recently has sought to show how culture and God intersect via his podcast The Table.
According to Bock, it’s imperative that Christians discuss God and culture together because the American culture has lost its Judeo-Christian roots.
“The Bible has gone from being a source and an answer to becoming the question.”
Citing the Bible no longer has any moral warrant, it has been tossed aside, leaving people to find truth from the world around them.
The world often receives Christians and the message of the Gospel with hatred. However, according to Bock that hatred is actually anger and frustration stemming from the confusion felt by those who don’t know Christ.
“There are people who need to hear what the Bible has to say and they need to be invited to see the way the Bible sees things.”
While some say Christians are losing the so-called “culture war,” Bock says that Christians have been given an incredible opportunity to share the Gospel in this day and age. How can that be?
According to Bock, the church functions best when persecuted and when the contrast between the church and culture is most obvious. It gives Christians the opportunity to show that there is a different way to do life.
“The Bible teaches how to live life well and we need to help invite people to see that.”
What can we do?
Bock says that it is mistake to think we can solve our problems through legislation and asking people to do things that they are not spiritually and personally equipped to do. In the church, people are equipped to live the Scriptures day in and day out.
When people walk into a church community, they should get a sense that, “Hey, these people in the church relate to one another differently than the way I’m used to being related too. Why is that?”
In the midst of the differences, we model how God himself loves. God cares for even those who are doing evil. If we model God’s love to those around us and they will compare us to the world and notice the difference.