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Stranger in a Strange Land is the third talk in a series entitled, Growing with God in a Facebook Age.

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  • Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961 science fiction novel by Robert A Heinlein.Exodus 2:22
  • “Cultural Differences” by Paul Hiebert from Perspectives.“Culture, Worldview and Contextualization” by Charles Kraft from PerspectivesCustoms, worldview assumptions, people’s way of life, design for living, coping with the environment.Culture is something we are immersed and consequently we are rarely conscious of it.Culture is often intertwined with feelings of right and wrong which we have held as Christian convictions, rather than as personal or societal preferences.Culture is not universal.
  • Richard Niebuhr - Niebuhr battled with the religious liberals over what he called their naïve views of sin and the optimism of the Social Gospel, and battled with the religious conservatives over what he viewed as their naïve view of Scripture and their narrow definition of "true religion.“Christ and CultureSome 2nd Century writings (Didache, The Epistle of Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas, Tertullian). Benedictine monasticism also shaped by this perspecitve. This view is also seen in Leo Tolstoy’s work.New Testament: ("While various New Testament writings evince something of this attitude, none without qualification.")Matthew: New law with old, yet Christian obligations of obedience to Jewish society and Moses Revelation: radical rejection of "the world," but in the situation of being persecuted *1 John(least ambiguous example): -theme of love-the counterpart of loyalty to Christ and the brothers is the rejection of cultural society ("the world") but "though there is no statement here that the Christian is obliged to participate in the work of the social institutions, to maintain or convert them, neither is there any express rejection of the state or of property as such." - loyalty to Christ and brotherhood, without concern for the transitory culture.2nd Century: Various authors present Christianity as a way of life separate from culture common idea of the Christian community constituting a third "race" besides Jews and Gentiles that was established by Jesus the Lawgiver and King Tertullian is best example of this type in the 2nd century. Requires Christian to shun worldliness. The most vicious thing is social, pagan religion... counsel to withdraw from meetings no only because they are corrupted by their relation to pagan faith but because they require a mode of life contrary to the spirit political life shunned more pronounced in prohibitions on philosophy and the arts against finding similarities of the faith with Greek culture finds diciples of Greece seeking their own fame and are talkers rather than doers (in conflict with diciples of Heaven) but couldn't emancipate himself and the church from reliance on and participation in culture, pagan through it was...yet top example of the anti-cultural history of the church.. not positive and warmth of 1 John but a largely negative morality; avoidance of sin and fearsome preparation for the coming day of judgment seem more imporant than thankful acceptance of God's grace in the gift of his son.
  • Gnostics, John Locke, Kant.The Accommondationalist Type]-"ought be called cultural type," in general at home in their culture -"interpret revelation of values and imperatives through Christ from the standpoint of the common reason of their culture"          1. values of Jesus and church are republications of those of           society/ cultural reason at its best          2. pick out Biblical values found in the cultural form           (ie evidence of x in this part of gospel)           3. does not simply sanction the prevailing culture...but emphasizes           the "ideal" in that culture morality )          4. harmony; another world as extention of the best parts of this world
  • PROS & Defensethe synthesist alone seems to provide for willing and intelligent co-operation of Christians with nonbelievers in carrying on the work of the world, while yet maintaining the distinctiveness of Christian faith and life But must remember it also tells that the gospel promises and requires more than the rational knoweldge of the Creator's plan for the creature and willing obedience to the law of nature demand and asssure. ----VERY EXHAULTED VIEW OF THE LAW AND GOAL OF LOVE more not an afterthought as it often is with the cultural christian culture also indepted to this type whom "have been mediators of Greek wisdom and Roman law to modern culture" PROBLEMS"tends perhaps inevitably, to the absolutizing of what is relative, the reduction of the infinite to a finite form, and the materialization of the dynamic" no synthesists answer so far given in Christian history has avoided the equation of a cultural view of God's law in creation with that law itself conservation of a culture and thus becomes a cultural christianon other hand the effort to synthesize leads to the instiutionalization of Christ and the gospel These objections all meet in one point...that integrity and peace are the eternal hope and goal of the Christian, and that the temporal embodiment of this unity in man-devised form represents a usurpation in which time seeks to exercise the power of eternity and man the power of God authoritative statement about the way things fit together in the kingdom of Godother criticisms of dualists, conversionists and radicals is that it tends to distinguish grades of Christian perfectionl with all the mischief that results from the division of Christians into those who obey lower and higher laws....etc THE MAJOR OBJECTION (which all but cultural Christians raise) is ....that they DO NOT FACE UP TO THE RADICAL EVIL PRESENT IN ALL HUMAN WORK
  • Martin Luther, Niebuhr, Emil Brunner.Christ belongs to two realms (Spiritual and Temporal) and must live in the tension of fulfilling the responsibilities to both.Pendulum – each movement towards one pole meets a pull in the opposite direction    1. accepts gospel ethics in radical form:           (not reinterpret it to seem reasonable to the "natural mind" or           make it aplicable only to the future or a spiritual aristocracy)           2. accepts demands of nature as inescapable and as           divine demands: (ie procreation, self-preservation, order,          protection against unjust)          3. Values and imperatives of gospel can't be translated into those           of culture & values and imperatives of culture can't be translated           into those of gospel.          4. demands of God in gospel convict man of sin in fufillment of           nature & those of nature and culture of sin when seeks to fufill          demands of gospel and abandons nature and culture...          (so like pendelum)          5. Peace and righteousness impossible, except in faith and hope          so by a kindof anticipation....moral life and meaningfullness from           beyond self          6. various explanations of the situation                 a. man is homo duplex: (spirit/body, transecndent/empirical)                 b. God is deux duplex: (grace/mercy in Jesus,                 wrath/darkness in world)                 c. The world is mundus duplex: (created/fallen,                 good/corrupted).                                                                            
  • Paul, Augustine, Jonathan EdwardsTo convert the values and goals of secular culture into the service of the kingdom.conversion implies revolution, ultimately metaphysical as well as moral-(so different from natural-law type).
  • Be careful of practices that cause division.
  • Be careful of practices that cause division.
  • “Culture, Worldview and Contextualization” by Charles Kraft from Perspectives
  • Cults, Christianity, and Culture by Bob DeffinbaughRead Quote from sermon under (5).
  • Christ command to make disciples requires us to understand culture and its impact.  Q1: This week see if you can identify cultural expressions that might hinder you in your walk with Christ.    Q2: How would Christ live in our culture?
  • Stranger.gwgifa.9.11

    1. 1. Strangers in a <br />Strange Land<br />Christians’ interaction with culture<br />
    2. 2. What is Culture?<br />Culture is the integrated systems of beliefs, feelings and values, and their associated symbols, patterns of behavior and products shared by a group of people.<br />
    3. 3. Response to Culture<br />Christ Against Culture<br />Uncompromisingly affirms sole authority of Christ over the Christian and resolutely rejects culture's claims to loyalty<br />
    4. 4. Response to Culture<br />Christ of Culture<br />Attempts to bring culture and Christianity together regardless of their differences.<br />
    5. 5. Response to Culture<br />Christ Above Culture<br />The fundamental problem does not lie between Christ and the world but between God and man.<br />
    6. 6. Response to Culture<br />Christ and Culture in Paradox<br />Seek to do justice to the need for holding together as well as for distinguishing between loyalty to Christ and responsibility for culture <br />
    7. 7. Response to Culture<br />Christ Transforming Culture<br />Vision of good in Christ for restoration of the corrupted order in a radical conversion of existent society<br />
    8. 8. Biblical Test Cases<br />John 2:1-11<br />Honored the cultural expectation<br />Honored his mother<br />Honored his host<br />
    9. 9. Biblical Test Case<br />Acts 15<br />Goal is unity of followers<br />Our culture should not become a hindrance to the proclamation of the Gospel <br />1 Corinthians 9:19-23<br />
    10. 10. God’s View of Culture<br />God loves people as they are culturally.<br />The cultures and languages of the Bible are not special, God-made cultures and languages.<br />The Bible shows that God worked with His people in culturally appropriate ways.<br />God’s work in culture never leaves that culture unchanged.<br />
    11. 11. Importance of UnderstandingCulture<br />Understanding culture plays a crucial role in missions.<br />Culture plays a vital role in evangelism. <br />Culture plays a vital role in worship.<br />The church is often bound by culture, thus hindering its ministry.<br />Satan’s most effective attacks upon the church may come through culture.<br />
    12. 12. Make Disciples….<br />Christ’s command to make disciples requires us to understand culture and its impact.<br />This requires us to know Christ.<br />This requires us to understand all nations.<br />This requires us to incarnate Christ in culture.<br />