Bringing Together the Best of Culture

The incredible revelation of God in the face of our Lord made me think of an interesting interpretation I once heard of the 2 Corinthians 4:6 passage. It has to do with the cultural context out of which the Apostle Paul was writing. Paul was a Hebrew by birth, living in a Greek city, of Roman citizenship. The major pursuit of the Hebrew mind was the pursuit of Light as an ideal (The Lord is my light and salvation - Psalm 27:1). A major focus of Greek culture was the quest for knowledge (gnosis). This was central to Greek philosophy and learning. The sine quo non of Roman aspiration was found in the attainment of glory. All roads lead to Rome, the city that was not built in a day. Jesus Christ is the quintessence of Hebrew, Greek, and Roman culture. Paul takes the major pursuit of each and shows how in the face of Jesus each of these quests finds its perfect fulfillment. Apart from Jesus Hebrew revelation is going nowhere, Greek Philosophy is empty speculation (see Acts 17:23; Colossians 2:8), and Roman law has no foundation. In many ways the United States is a synthesis of Hebrew Revelation, Greek Philosophy, and Roman law. Ultimately we look to a person and not an idea to provide a cohesive life philosophy.