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Christ & Culture by H. Richard Niebuhr

Christ & Culture (1951)

by H. Richard Niebuhr

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Although this book is over 40 years old, Niebuhr's work remains just as relevant as it was then. The author presents 4 different perspectives of what a church may look like in engaging the culture in which it is in. Expanding on these perspectives, he shares with the reader what each church would be doing whether active or reactive. I should say this work is a bit above the average reader's head but if one has the patience to read each perspective one day or one week at a time, this may be a better thing & give the reader time to digest it. ( )
  walterhistory | Feb 17, 2015 |
As relevant today as when first written. ( )
  dhamid | May 30, 2013 |
H. Richard Niebuhr's most famous work is Christ and Culture. It is often referenced in discussions and writings on a Christian's response to the world's culture. In the book, Niebuhr gives a history of how Christianity has responded to culture. He outlines five prevalent viewpoints:
Christ against Culture. For the exclusive Christian, history is the story of a rising church or Christian culture and a dying pagan civilization.
Christ of Culture. For the cultural Christian, history is the story of the Spirit’s encounter with nature.
Christ above Culture. For the synthesist, history is a period of preparation under law, reason, gospel, and church for an ultimate communion of the soul with God.
Christ and Culture in Paradox. For the dualist, history is the time of struggle between faith and unbelief, a period between the giving of the promise of life and its fulfillment.
Christ Transforming Culture. For the conversionist, history is the story of God’s mighty deeds and humanity’s response to them. Conversionists live somewhat less “between the times” and somewhat more in the divine “now” than do the followers listed above. Eternity, to the conversionist, focuses less on the action of God before time or life with God after time, and more on the presence of God in time. Hence the conversionist is more concerned with the divine possibility of a present renewal than with conservation of what has been given in creation or preparing for what will be given in a final redemption.
  gmicksmith | Oct 2, 2011 |
Certainly influential in shaping the discussion in the US of how Christians engage culture. It has its faults, but no typology is perfect and Niebuhr is aware of that fact. I agree that it is a must read, though I hesitate to say that people should employ the typology without some translation. ( )
1 vote twatson79 | Jun 29, 2007 |
Excellent must-read book for any pastor, minister or seminary student! ( )
  daletadlock | Jun 6, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061300039, Paperback)

Being fully God and fully human, Jesus raised an enduring question for his followers: what exactly was His place in this world? In the classic Christ and Culture, H. Richard Niebuhr crafted a magisterial survey of the many ways of answering that question--and the related question of how Christ's followers understand their own place in the world. Niebuhr called the subject of this book "the double wrestle of the church with its Lord and with the cultural society with which it lives in symbiosis." And he described various understandings of Christ "against," "of," and "above" culture, as well as Christ "transforming" culture, and Christ in "paradoxical" relation to it. This 50th anniversary edition of Christ and Culture, with a foreword by theologian Martin E. Marty, is not easy reading. But it remains among the most gripping articulations of what is arguably the most basic ethical question of the Christian faith: how is Christ relevant to the world in which we live now? --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

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