Cultural Influence Assignment (CPA 4)
1. This assignment is an invitation for you to think in direct and individual way about your
own relationship with ideas taught or suggested by a text you’ve read for this semester.
2. From texts assigned in the course for this semester (other than biblical texts), choose one
that you realize has shaped or changed or challenged or refined your perspective or
attitudes or assumptions (or one that brings up ideas that have shaped or changed or
challenged or refined your perspective, etc.) To put this another one, choose a text that
strikes you as having some relevance for your life, when you think about it.
3. Use evidence from the text to explain how the text expresses, explains, or addresses ideas
or commitments that are important to you.
4. Finally, consider these ideas and this text from a biblical perspective with reference to
specific biblical passages.
a. How is the text’s influence on you consistent with biblical teaching?
b. How is the text’s influence on you different from, perhaps in tension with, biblical
c. What can you do or what should you do to “negotiate” this tension?
Example from COR 225: many western Christians associate total control of their emotions with
spiritual maturity. Connecting emotionlessness with manliness is clear in Roman thought (in
Cicero, Virgil, and Marcus Aurelius, among others). A student who thinks that emotions are a
sign of weakness might focus on a passage in the Aeneid or in Marcus Aurelius’ “Thoughts” that
recommends/favors dispassion (emotionless resolve), explain how the passage gives preference
to this kind of emotional control and why Romans at the time would have favored it, and then
give biblical reasons for or against embracing the text’s recommendation (perhaps for accepting
the recommendation in some ways but not in others)

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