Tag Archives: antithesis

The Sanctificationist Approach to Culture

The Sanctificationist Approach to Culture

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What is clear from this exploration is that each of the three primary post-Christendom approaches to culture have strengths and weaknesses when compared to the NT’s understanding of culture as behavior. The separatist approach rightly recognizes the fundamental antithesis between belief and unbelief, but it fails to also recognize commonality that exists due to common… Continue Reading

Unbelievers’ Culture Can Be Good

Unbelievers’ Culture Can Be Good

This entry is part 17 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The third principle that emerges from the idea of culture as behavior is that fundamental antithesis exists between the values of Christians and unbelievers, but not always between their behaviors. Up to this point antithesis has been emphasized to the degree that the separatism of the Radical Reformers may seem the most biblical approach to… Continue Reading

Christians are Redeemed from Unholy Culture

Christians are Redeemed from Unholy Culture

This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The second conclusion that emerges from the idea that the New Testament concept of “culture” is behavior is that Christians are redeemed from unholy culture. Paul says that even believers “once lived (ἀνεστράφημέν) in the passions of [their] flesh” (Eph 2:3), but through Christ, God has raised believers out of such unholy behavior (vv. 5-6).… Continue Reading

Unholy Culture Exists

Unholy Culture Exists

This entry is part 13 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If the idea of “culture” in the NT is essentially “behavior,” then the biblical approach to culture becomes more apparent. From the NT discussions of ἀναστροφή, several important realities emerge. First, unholy culture exists. The Bible is clear that mankind, left to himself, is utterly corrupt. Even though God created all things good and even… Continue Reading

The Two-Kingdoms Approach to Culture

The Two-Kingdoms Approach to Culture

This entry is part 9 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The two-kingdom approach is essentially built upon two ideas: natural law and a clear distinction between redemptive and non-redemptive social spheres. The first idea is built on passages like Romans 2:14-15 and the assumption that moral norms are inscribed on the hearts of all men. These norms are the basis for common society of which both… Continue Reading

Martin Luther’s Approach to Culture

Martin Luther’s Approach to Culture

This entry is part 3 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

When Martin Luther (1483–1546) begins making reforms in the church, one of the most significant issues he faces is the relationship between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Thus, Luther articulates an understanding of antithesis and commonality that in many ways reflects what came before him but in such a way that he is often credited… Continue Reading

Herman Dooyeweerd’s Approach to Culture

Herman Dooyeweerd’s Approach to Culture

This entry is part 8 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The first of Kuyper’s direct followers to explicitly transition away from the Reformed doctrine of two kingdoms was Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977). Building on Kuyper’s ambiguity, and parallel to Barth’s own views, Dooyeweerd further develops the idea of worldview as the center of antithesis1 and roots the Son of God’s relationship to cultural matters in redemption rather… Continue Reading

Abraham Kuyper’s Approach to Culture

Abraham Kuyper’s Approach to Culture

This entry is part 7 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The history of Christian approaches to culture clearly enters a stage of transition in the work of Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920). VanDrunen argues that Kuyper retained enough of the important categories of two-kingdom theology to be categorized squarely in its line of thought. In fact, even one-kingdom proponents such as Jeremy Begbie acknowledge… Continue Reading

John Calvin’s Approach to Culture

John Calvin’s Approach to Culture

This entry is part 6 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

John Calvin’s (1509–1564) position regarding the relationship of the church to the surrounding culture is one of intense debate. For example, VanDrunen argues that Calvin essentially agreed with Luther on the two-kingdoms and natural law1 contrary to the Neo-Calvinists who insist that their transformationalism comes from him. In fact, VanDrunen argues that H. Richard Niebuhr miscategorized Calvin… Continue Reading

The Christendom Approach to Culture

The Christendom Approach to Culture

This entry is part 4 of 20 in the series Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Before exploring approaches to cultural engagement post-Christendom, or even that of Christendom itself, it is necessary to consider what happened before and during the period immediately after the Edict of Milan in 313. Early debates about approaches to culture are evident, for example, in differences between Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225), quoted two weeks… Continue Reading

A Distinctly Christian Culture

A Distinctly Christian Culture

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

So is there a distinctly Christian culture? Is there a distinctly Christian music? Yes, there is—it is culture and music that expresses Christian values. In discussions of missions and music, understanding the idea of culture is critical. What is it? Shouldn’t the music of a church reflect the indigenous culture around it? The Standard Evangelical… Continue Reading

Missions and the antithesis

Missions and the antithesis

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, I spoke at the Preserving the Truth Conference in Troy, MI. Of the three points that I made in my presentation (notes, audio), one is especially relevant to the discussion of missions. The antithesis, then, presents us a goal: to explore and articulate a Christianity that is Christian all the way down. The… Continue Reading