A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rethinking Christ and Culture: Excerpt #4

From Craig Carter, Rethinking Christ and Culture: A Post-Christendom Perspective (Brazos Press, 2006).

The problem with Christendom is that it requires the church to merge with the church's host culture to the point of denying the lordship of Jesus Christ. Being in the world is fine; the church must be in the world in order to carry out its mission. But becoming a worldly church is not fine because a worldly church is nothing more than an echo of the world's own wisdom. It is important to grasp the point that the reason we want to avoid worldliness is not because we do not care about the world and have no compassion for people. In fact, the exact opposite is true. A worldly church has no good news to proclaim that the world would not know any other way. A worldly church simply says "me too" to the culture's highest and best wisdom and becomes a culture-religion. The world needs the church to be the church so that the world can know that God loves the world and that redemption is therefore possible. The church is a sign of hope in the world, but if it does not remain distinct from the world it loses its ability to point to the transcendent God.

The church can make common cause with non-Christians on an issue-by-issue basis and does not have to oppose everything in secular culture. The church should be involved in all aspects of culture and should be culturally creative and always appreciative of beauty, goodness, and life whenever and wherever it finds these good things... (pp. 199-200).

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Cross-Posted at RedBlueChristian.


Keith H. McIlwain said...

I agree.

Have you read Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution? It seems up your alley.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I have not read Claiborne, but I shall put it on my reading list.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I agree, and I guess it's where you're coming from as to where you'll put emphasis. I find some emergent stuff refreshing in that it is trying to be postmodern (what they already are, in some ways) to those postmodern to win as many of them as possible. Of course minus the elements in postmodern that are not Christian. We do need discernment. But Christianity alone is the faith that is expressed in all kinds of different, creative ways, by different cultures, since it is not cultural bound, in the grace and truth of our Lord, I believe.

Thanks, Allan.