Do we need cross-cultural relationships to know God better?

Here’s the start of one argument for cross-cultural relationships:

Is it any surprise that in a universe containing as many as a septillion stars that even a hundred billion people would be unable to fully comprehend God’s glory?

I suggest that we need each other to worship an infinite God.

How could any one cultural perspective provide enough breadth or depth to help us receive the fullness of God’s revelation to us?

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One of the things I most love about studying the Bible in community, is having others ask questions that I never would have thought of or point out something in the passage I had never noticed before. It helps me see so much more of who God is and how He is at work in our lives and the world!

We all come to the Bible with our own experiences, perspectives, and interests that draw out and emphasize different aspects of the text - which can be so beautiful and rich within a community! Yet, it can also be a danger if we’re not careful.

I like the way Justo Gonzalez talked about it in Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes he said that, since we each bring our own perspective into everything, if we leave our perspective unexamined it can “take on an aura of universality” such that we begin to think it is the only perspective or at least the normal one. This can so easily lead to blindness towards certain areas of Scripture, in addition to many misunderstandings and misapplications.

So, I think reading Scripture, interpreting it, and living it out within a cross-cultural community that has a breadth of experiences and perspectives is very important. It not only follows the example of Jesus in John 4 and Paul throughout the New Testament, but it also helps open our eyes to the fullness of God and His word and guards of the danger of interpreting in isolation.