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In order for culture to be rejected in favour of Christ, logic requires that God Himself is not a part of culture. This would make sense if we only knew God as solely spiritual, but we also know Him as incarnate. He shows His nature in creation, which expresses His attributes, in Jesus by incarnation as a specific and very cultural human being (Hebrews 2:14-18), as well as in believers today through indwelling Spirit of Christ in every believer. Since we are to follow Christ in all things, we should follow him in cultural dimension as well.
2. Christ is of Culture Cultural Christians claim that Christ is to be understood as highest aspiration and fulfilment of culture. So it is possible to affirm both Christ and culture and to deny any necessary opposition between two.
Culture can be interpreted through Christ, where elements of culture that are most complimentary to Jesus' work and person are best; as are those things that can be understood of God through culture.
In this way they are most accommodating, reconciling Christianity with what appears to be greatest achievements of culture. The early church had it's share of Hellenizers, Judaizers and Gnostics who joined Christ to their mystical philosophy, and in same way today there are many who attempt to reduce Christianity to practical morality and Jesus Christ to one of many great moral teachers.
The error of this option is equal to, but also in direct opposition to separatism in that it is so concentrated on world that while focused on horizontal dimension it ignores vertical dimension. Thus putting very little emphasis on grace or eternity aand afterlife, and producing a self-reliant form of humanism.
Ultimately this deifies man and humanises God, creating theology in man's image through connecting Christ with some cultural movement one wishes to endorse. So we have Christianity AND homosexuality, Christianity AND new psychology, Christianity AND Veganism, Christianity AND political correctness or Christianity AND any other syncretism you could care to mention.
So we end up thinking that some aspect of God can be found in a same-sex relationship and acceptance of homosexual rights. Political correctness in a culture takes preference over what Bible may say about a subject. And we find that as horizontal dimension gets distorted vertical dimension gets ignored. We listen to spirit of age more than Holy Spirit.
There is one aspect of accommodation that is relevant to us. When communicating gospel we do need to adapt it to our audience, that is, while not compromising message of gospel we should present it incarnate so that it translates into understanding of people-group. We need to present a contextualised Christianity, not syncretism. Paul adapted his delivery dependant on whether his audience was Jewish, gentile, Roman or Greek in order to make it relevant to their way of thinking. Jesus did same with His parables. By being cultural chameleons we can take gospel message and find culturally relevant clothing to make it relevant. This is incarnation of Christ in prevailing culture.
3. Christ is above culture In this view Christ and culture are synthesised. This option says that culture has good in it since God created world and though it was distorted by fall it is not entirely evil, it still has attributes of God in it. So in this view we cannot say "either Christ or culture" because we are dealing with God in both cases and we also must not say "both Christ and culture" as if there was no distinction between them.
Thomas Aquinas believed that church is simultaneously in and beyond world, leading people to salvation in heaven, while affirming best in this world's culture. He believed that God has purposes in temporal as well as eternal realms. This option affirms a stable relationship between church and state as well as encouraging conservation of values and authority. The church should back up government's authority to maintain order. So in earthly as well as in Heavenly realms there is a hierarchical organisation in church and state.
There is one King over temporal and eternal and we have practical solutions for living Christian life within culture and gives incentive for government and education as well as encouraging academic principles. The danger is that church will socially stagnate and fossilise with it's emphasis on values and authority, it may perpetuate dictatorships and prevent legislative reform. If respect for temporal authority is too great, there is a danger that man made laws will undermine God's law.
There is also no separation of church and state, leading to prohibition or evil of forcing people to change their beliefs by relying on sword rather than word. The integration of church and state to make people believe things is evil and pretty impossible because changing someone's behaviour produces a hypocrite, and even though you can change someone's behaviour through force, it still does not mean you have changed their belief.
Please see other parts of this article..... Christ and Culture
Aleck Cartwright is an author, journalist, graphic designer, missionary, teacher and Christian who runs his own website called www.god-life.com, he writes on and addresses many different topics and issues from a Biblical world-view.