03 April 2009

Niebuhr revisited

As promised, I am linking to my review of Donald A. Carson's recent book, Christ and Culture Revisited, which appears in Comment today: Christ, culture and Carson. Here's an excerpt:
Without a solid creational and biblical foundation for our efforts, any attempt to transform culture will amount to little more than trying to impose our own subjective aspirations on everyone else, whether or not they are willing, or—more significantly—whether or not those aspirations conform to the normative order of creation as understood in the light of Scripture. Moreover, given the encompassing presence and sheer power of the cultures of which we ourselves are part, there is every possibility that they will transform us first, even as we claim the opposite. If we should become comfortable with our surrounding culture, it may be because, by God's grace, the latter will have responded to our successful efforts and become more congenial to true faith. Yet it is just as likely that we will have been unknowingly co-opted by the culture. How can we tell the difference? It will not be easy, but the place to start is by immersing ourselves in God's written word and indwelling its story, as Lesslie Newbigin puts it. In any event, we should make every effort to remain vigilant and to keep our eyes continually on the cross of Jesus Christ.

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