Part of the thought came from the book Rethinking Christ and Culture: A Post-Christendom Perspective by Craig A. Carter which revisits Niebuhr’s influential 1951 work “Christ and Culture”.
Part of it came from The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words by Deborah Tannen, and part of it was a critique of The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer In Christian Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas as well as Luther’s famous construct of the ’2 Kingdoms’.
The main point of contention is that what is now called ‘culture’ is a byproduct of Christendom (part of the church) and is therefore not the same thing that Paul was writing about in the New Testament. The church and the world are not entirely alien to each other. The church is filled with people from the culture and the culture is deeply impacted (or has been) by the church.
So when we quote passages like Romans 12: 1-2 to be not conformed to the world, we have a messier delineation of those categories – precisely BECAUSE they have bled into each other so thoroughly throughout history.
Callid had a different take on the issues as a Quaker. I hope that you will listen to the episode and give us your take!
What do we do with these categories in the 21st century? Go to the homepage and use the SpeakPipe on the right hand side of the screen to leave us an MP3 message for an upcoming TNT.