If the Bible is humanity’s source of absolute truths, why do so many readers interpret it differently? Cuban-American theologian, Dr. Justo González has gained acclaim for examining this question in works like The Story of Christianity and This History of Christian Thought. In this episode of VOICES’ Where Ya From? podcast, Dr. González joins host Rasool Berry to discuss how our context—and even Jesus’ context—shapes how we read, interpret, and engage with God’s Word.

Guest Bio:

Born and raised in Cuba, Dr. Justo L. González was ordained as a minister within the Methodist church in 1957. In 1961, he became the youngest person to earn a doctorate in Theological History from Yale University. For thirty years, Dr. González taught at various theological institutions, beginning with eight years at the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico (1961-1969).

He has given hundreds of lectures across the world and has also written over one hundred books. His two-volume set, History of Christianity, and his three volumes, History of Christian Thought, have been translated into eight languages.

Since retiring from teaching full-time and ministry, he has dedicated his time to research, writing, and promoting Hispanic theological education. Dr. González was involved in the founding of the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH), the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI), and the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP). He values mentoring and encouraging Latinas and Latinos and other minority students.

Notes & Quotes:

  • “I think, perhaps the greatest theological discovery of the 20th century is that all theology [is] contextual. And there’s no such thing as general theology.”
  • “. . . . when I talk to mostly White Christians in this country, . . . [there] is sort of an overpowering sense of guilt. ‘How can we get rid of who we are or being who we are?’. . . . that's not the way to go. The way to go is, ‘how can we use who we are for what we all ought to be?’”
  • “The only way that we have, in order to live into the future wisely, is to know the past. The better we know the past, the more prepared we are for the unexpected eventualities of the future.”

Links Mentioned:

  • Learn about Dr. González’s former professor, theologian Karl Barth.
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Verses Mentioned:

  • Story of Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)
  • Peter’s Betrayal (Luke 22:54–62)
  • Exodus & Moses
  • Jubilee Laws (Exodus 25)
  • Philippians 3:20
  • Acts 22
  • Joseph of Arimathea
  • John 14:2
  • Hebrews 11
  • Acts 28

From Our Daily Bread Ministries in partnership with Christianity Today.