Guest / Limited Access /
Christ and Culture Revisited
by D. A. Carson
Eerdmans, April 2008
243 pp., $24.00

It's ironic that a book by a liberal theologian has so thoroughly suffused contemporary evangelical self-understanding. Yet 50 years after its publication, H. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture remains a classic in the evangelical canon. But this standard has recently faced strong challenges from within the fold, including Craig Carter's incisive Rethinking Christ and Culture, and now D. A. Carson's Christ and Culture Revisited. Carson rightly seeks to revisit Niebuhr's categories by holding their feet to the biblical fire. As a biblical theologian, Carson is concerned that Niebuhr's categories have taken on a life of their own — that Christians now take up his models without considering how (or whether) they grow out of biblical wisdom.

Carson follows a strategy displayed in recent discussion of the Atonement, in which some scholars have countered the settled understanding that models of the Atonement are mutually exclusive. Just as the New Testament celebrates complementary understandings of Christ's work on the cross, so too, Carson suggests, with models of Christ and culture. We should stop thinking that it's a matter of picking and choosing and consider a bigger picture that integrates different approaches.

Carson is also rightly concerned to detach accounts of "Christ and culture" from American and European provincialism. As he wryly puts it, "If Abraham Kuyper had grown up under the conditions of the killing fields of Cambodia, one suspects his view of the relationship between Christianity and culture would have been significantly modified." Thus, Carson considers sectors of the majority world where Christians face persecution and ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Gleanings: April 2017
Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our April issue).
RecommendedJohn Perkins: I Wish I Had Done More to Help Poor White People
John Perkins: I Wish I Had Done More to Help Poor White People
An excerpt from ‘Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win.’
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickFrom Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
From Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic
Former winner explains how the seminary honor that once brought the Reformed community together is now splitting it.
Christianity Today
Christ and Culture and Church and Creation
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.