Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture

Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture

Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture

Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture


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Whether we interpret Scripture or culture, it matters what we do, not just what we think or feel. How do we live with our interpretation, and how do we live it out? This book helps us understand how culture forms us as political actors, moves us aesthetically, shapes the rhythms of our lives, and connects (or disconnects) us from God and neighbors we are called to love. The goal is to be equipped to engage culture with greater fluency and fidelity in response to the triune God.

This short, accessible introduction to the conversation between theology and culture offers a patient, thoughtful, and theologically attuned approach to cultural discernment. It helps us grow our interpretive skill by training our intuition and giving us a slower, more deliberate approach that accounts for as much of the complexity of culture as possible. The book explores 5 dimensions of culture—meaning, power, morality, religion, and aesthetic—and shows how each needs the others and all need theology. Each chapter includes distinctive practices for spiritual formation and practical application. Foreword by Kevin J. Vanhoozer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781540965066
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,121,932
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Justin Ariel Bailey (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of theology at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as a pastor in diverse settings, including Filipino American, Korean American, and white American. Bailey hosts the In All Things podcast, and his writing has appeared in Christianity Today. He is the author of Reimagining Apologetics: The Beauty of Faith in a Secular Age.

Table of Contents

Foreword Kevin J. Vanboozer xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: Is There Anything to Say? 1

1 The Meaning Dimension: Culture as Immune System 19

2 The Power Dimension: Culture as Power Play 40

3 The Ethical Dimension: Culture as Moral Boundary 64

4 The Religious Dimension: Culture as Sacred Experience 85

5 The Aesthetic Dimension: Culture as Poetic Project 106

Conclusion: The Lived Dimension-the Difficulties of Doing Cultural Theology 129

Appendix: Looking through the Lenses-Questions to Ask about Cultural Artifacts 149

Notes 153

Bibliography 161

Scripture Index 173

Subject Index 175

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