Christ and Culture Revisited

Christ and Culture Revisited

Christ and Culture Revisited

Christ and Culture Revisited

Synopsis

Called to live in the world, but not to be of it, Christians must maintain a balancing act that becomes more precarious the further our culture departs from its Judeo-Christian roots. How should members of the church interact with such a culture, especially as deeply enmeshed as most of us have become?D. A. Carson applies his masterful touch to this problem. He begins by exploring the classic typology of H. Richard Niebuhr with its five Christ-culture options. Carson proposes that these disparate options are in reality one still larger vision. Using the Bible's own story line and the categories of biblical theology, he clearly lays out that unifying vision. Carson acknowledges the helpfulness of Niebuhr's grid and similar matrices but warns against giving them canonical force.More than just theoretical, Christ and Culture Revisited is also designed practically to help Christians untangle current messy debates on living in the world. Carson emphasizes that the relation between Christ and culture is not limited to an either/or cultural paradigm -- Christ against culture or Christ transforming culture. Instead Carson offers his own paradigm in which all the categories of biblical theology must be kept in mind simultaneously to inform the Christian worldview.While many other books on culture interact with Niebuhr, none of them takes anything like the biblical-theological approach adopted here. Groundbreaking and challenging, Christ and Culture Revisited is a tour de force.

Excerpt

That Eerdmans is publishing a paperback edition of this book affords me the opportunity, in this additional Preface, to reflect a little on developments since the hardback edition appeared four years ago. Books about culture, written from various perspectives, continue to appear from the press. Although I have learned much from many of them, they would not have changed the basic approach to culture that I adopted in this book — especially the emphasis on a full-orbed biblical theology to frame Christian thinking about the relationships between Chgy, as useful as it may be for some purposes, drives us toward mutually exclusive choices we should not be making.

If I were writing the book today instead of five years ago, the only section I would change substantively is the one on “Redefining Postmodernism” in chapter 3 (pp. 87-94). There I indicated that while postmodernism is dead in France, it is still being advocated on many American college campuses. This is decreasingly the case, except on campuses that are unusually out of date. Moreover, even when aging and inflexible professors cherish the postmodern training they received when they were graduate students and still try to pass it on, they are receiving increasing push-back from the current generation of graduate students. But while postmodernism no longer enjoys the cachet of being cutting-edge in reflections on culture, this is not to say that its influence has disappeared. While postmodernism, no longer . . .

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