What is “Culture”?

Culture is a space-time reality in that it is a convention [inherent mode of relating together] of man: inter-man relations develop culture. One man does not a culture make. One man alone and non-man cannot create a culture. Culture is founded on values, thought, judgment, and decisions that have been developed into a system of relating together. Man relating to another [man] with particular developed and understood affinity of thought, worldview, and even language to a degree creates what we term “culture.” Culture is only a term which is used to define a specific relationship of man, or rather, specific relationships of many. Worldviews, an individual’s view of the truth of the reality of things, whether fully developed and known/realized or apathetically disregarded and thoughtlessly ignored, affect and come together through inter-man relationships to create a culture, a way of living and doing understood by those within the realm of the culture as intuitively learned by them: this is because the worldview of an individual as the foundation of that person is necessarily lived out by them. One’s own culture, language, society, or other influences doubtlessly affect one’s worldview. However influential these may be, this is not to say that any of these influences are actually more influential, more foundational, or “the mover of man, the mover of the worldview.” (The “mover,” used by Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live?, is another way of characterizing the determiner or founder/foundation of an individual’s actions.) The worldview, or worldviews, of those within the culture is the influential, foundational, mover of the culture, language, society, government, laws, etc. [Worldview as the root of culture/society/etc. is a highly debated claim among anthropological studies, but the worldview of an individual is biblically understanding to be the foundation of man’s relationships, with God, man, and all creation.] The worldview of an individual is the collective understanding of all, of reality, of any and all that is, wherever it is. Worldview is a true reflection of the heart of the individual. The heart is the root, the foundation, the base, from which one lives, thinks, acts, believes, whether it is consciously-developed or apathetically-gained.


As man is contained in space-time reality/history, the conventions of man are also contained therein. To biblically understand culture, or the particular relationship of man wherein affinity of thought [philosophy and morality/values] creates certain inherent, conventional ways of living, the heart of the creators of a culture, those that make up and sustain the culture, must be examined and understood.

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