Christ and Culture Revisited: Carson’s Summary of Niebuhr’s Taxonomy (2)

by Apr 30, 2008Uncategorized0 comments

2. The Christ of Culture

Summary: Christians who take this view “seek to maintain community with all believers. Yet they seem equally at home in the community of culture” (Niebuhr, 83).

Exemplars (some partial): Gnostics, Abélard, culture-Protestantism, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Jefferson, Schleiermacher, Emerson, F.D. Maurice, Albert Ritschl, Protestant liberalism.

Example: “Formally, Abélard merely quarrels with the church’s way of stating the faith; in reality, ‘he reduces it to what conforms with the best in culture'” (Niebuhr, 90).

Counterarguments: “These cultural Christians have sacrificed too much of what is essential to Christianity…. They ‘take some fragment of the complex New Testament story and interpretation, call this the essential characteristic of Jesus, elaborate upon it, and thus reconstruct their own mythical figure of the Lord’ (109).” “Theirs is a moralism that understands little of grace, because it understands little of the need for grace” (19).

Carson adds in his critique in chapter two that this is not Christianity at all. Gnosticism wasn’t Christian; it was a later parasite on Christianity. And classic Protestant liberalism, despite its (now waning) influence isn’t Christian either.

Read More 

Bible Study Magazine Podcast Launches Today

Bible Study Magazine Podcast Launches Today

Faithlife’s brand new Bible Study Magazine podcast, hosted by yours truly, launches today. ​The first season of twelve episodes (four available today; one released per week after this) is focused on how to achieve and promote biblical literacy. In the first episode, I...

Review: My Father Left Me Ireland

Review: My Father Left Me Ireland

My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home by Michael Brendan Dougherty My rating: 4 of 5 stars I picked up this book on the effusive recommendation of Alan Jacobs. At first I thought I might tire of it: though I felt sympathy for a fatherless boy, I...

#BibleTech 2019

#BibleTech 2019

I spoke at my second BibleTech Conference in Seattle this past week, and it was an enjoyable time. I'm afraid I made the mistake of putting in three paper topics, assuming the organizers would pick one. They picked three. And I did a Q&A for Authorized. And I...

Leave a comment.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply