Three brief proposals for thinking about the “Christ and Culture” question.
- There is no Christ or culture in the abstract, but only the Jewish Jesus of history and particular cultures. We cannot abstractly talk about the relationship between “Christ and culture” as if Christ and culture are static givens which can be coordinated vis a vis each other.
- The relationship between Jesus Christ and culture is technically a question about how Christ related to the particular culture(s) he inhabited, not a question about how God is related to the various cultures of throughout space and history.
- Thus, when talking about the relationship between Christians and the cultures they inhabit we cannot pose such questions under the rubric of “Christ and culture”, since Christ’s relationship to culture is his unique and irrepeatable historical life amonst first century Palestinian and Greco-Roman culture. To speak of the relationship of Christians to culture(s) is to pose a different question altogether, namely the question of church and culture.
If this is correct, then I contend it requires us to severely question, if not completely abandon any and all typologies of “Christ and culture”.