Jump directly to the Content

Interpreting Cultural "Texts"

It's critical to exegete your culture and not just the Bible.

Karl Barth once advised young theologians "to take your Bible and your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible." PreachingToday.com asked Kevin Vanhoozer, editor of Everyday Theology (Baker Academic, 2007) and professor of theology at Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois, how preachers can do what Barth advised.

Why is it important to exegete the culture and not just the Bible?

While preachers are doing what they can to inform and transform their congregations, they only get them a few hours a week. That means six days out of the week something else is spiritually forming our people—shaping their thought patterns and behaviors. Who is forming our children? Who is forming us? There's a lot of research that indicates people watch TV more than they read their Bible. The culture is where people get their vision of what the world is really like.

How does the imagination factor into this?

Imagination is the ability to grasp things together in a meaningful ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
How to Lead Online Worship Without Losing Your Soul—or Body
How to Lead Online Worship Without Losing Your Soul—or Body
8 tips for stewarding church technology in a time of social distancing.
From the Magazine
Having Polio Was a Privilege, Not a Punishment
Having Polio Was a Privilege, Not a Punishment
How a passage in John’s gospel transformed my perspective on God and suffering.
Editor's Pick
5 Ways Collaborative Sermon Writing Can Help Pastors
5 Ways Collaborative Sermon Writing Can Help Pastors
How a cross-cultural experiment with a half-dozen church leaders offered me a fresh perspective.
close