Assumptions without reflection: assessing cultural values in light of Biblical values

I was asked to write an article for the Affinity journal Foundations on how we often make cultural assumptions in the church, particularly in respect to class, without really questioning whether our understanding is Biblical. The abstract of the article reads like this:

It is commonplace for majority culture values to pass into local church culture without much biblical or critical assessment. The equation of cultural values with biblical norms can have the knock-on effect of limiting minority culture representation, both at leadership level and within the church at large. With a particular focus on the question of class, this paper will explore some indicative examples, provide biblical analysis of these cultural value judgments and offer some suggestions as to how we might overcome our cultural biases to increase representation of minority cultures within the church.

Basing the cultural values on a summary of Ruby Payne’s characteristics of generational poverty by Tim Chester, this paper will consider the issues of speech, time, dress and social interaction from working- and middle-class perspectives. It will consider how these things play out in the local church context and how they can affect the way in which the majority culture views minorities, particularly in respect to their suitability for leadership roles.

You can read the full article here.