Category Archives: Christ & Culture

Common Grace or Cultural Compromise?

“That dominant culture has infiltrated our lives through new technologies and social mobility to such an extent that our conversations about common grace are now perhaps better framed this way: to what degree has the commonness that we have embraced in the culture that we share with our non-Christian neighbors compromised our commitment to the gospel?”

~ Richard Mouw, He Shines in All That’s Fair (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2001), 11.

Keller on Contextualization

“Contextualization is not ‘giving people what they want’ but rather it is giving God’s answers (which they may not want!) to questions they are asking and in forms that they can comprehend. ‘Contextualization’ ‘incarnates’ the Christian faith in a particular culture.”

~ Timothy Keller, “Being the Church in Our Culture” (Reformation & Resurgence Conference, 2006).

The Gospel’s Power & the Church’s Mission

“Martin Luther once said that the gospel is like a caged lion that does not need to be defended — only released. Indeed the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18). When it is at work in the words, works, and lives of God’s people, it will accomplish its purposes. But the gospel is ‘caged’ when it is accommodated to the story of humanism. Only when the gospel is set free from its captivity to the dominant cultural story will the church be equipped for its comprehensive mission in Western culture.”

~ Mike Goheen & Craig Bartholomew, Living at the Crossroads (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Baker Academic, 2008), 11.

Christian Perspective on Work

Carl henry

“To consider work as a channel of divine creation, by which the creature serves God and humanity, carries certain consequences for one’s attitude toward labor. The Christian becomes morally obligated to withhold producing, and even purchasing (since money is simply the conversion of his work into tender) culturally worthless, let alone harmful items.”

~ Carl F. H. Henry, Aspects of Christian Social Ethics

The Lordship of Christ & the Kingdoms of this World

“Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. The Church is the bearer of that claim. Because the Church is pledged to the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, it must maintain a critical distance from all the kingdoms of the world, whether actual or proposed. Christians betray their Lord if, in theory or practice, they equate the Kingdom of God with any political, social or economic order of this passing time. At best, such orders permit the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom and approximate, in small part, the freedom, peace, and justice for which we hope.”

~ Richard John Neuhaus, quoted by D. A. Carson in Christ & Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 203.

Incarnation & Culture

“The very fact of the incarnation reminds us that what God wants to make known of himself is not available in culture per se. The human cultural world provides the raw material, as it were, for the gospel; but the gospel cannot be reduced to the means of its cultural production.”

~ Kevin J. Vanhoozer, “What is Everyday Theology?” in Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends, eds. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, et al (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Academic, 2007), 42.

The Gospel as “Public” Truth

“Christians can never seek refuge in a ghetto where their faith is not proclaimed as public truth for all.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 1986), 114.