Thursday, February 19, 2009

Christ and Culture: Christ ABOVE Culture (synthesists), part 2 (Critique)

The Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One” makes this view attractive to most, if not all, believers, according to Niebuhr. This seems to be the preferred view of Niebuhr thus far because he is short on critique, but he does note that this view necessarily collapses into a provincial theology of Christ and culture. There must be a significant reinventing of the system as culture changes. I suppose it would have to be constant, but its proponents often become defenders of the culture instead of re-contextualizing. This view seems to require an institutionalization because Christ and culture are synthesized, but this institutionalization wars against further synthesis. An attractive view, but pretty difficult to see played out in reality.

Another critique is that this view does not handle human sinfulness seriously enough. This is raised by those Niebuhr calls “the dualists.” They’re our next view so we’ll see what they mean by this critique next.

[Suggestion: If this is even moderately interesting to anyone but me (and that’s even questionable sometimesJ) DA Carson has written Christ and Culture Revisited that has nice summaries of these views by way of introduction as he seeks to move the argument forward. You may want to check his book out and continue reading forward. I just cracked it and I’m looking forward to diving into it after I finish Niebuhr.]

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