In a call to the church, Dr. Craig Carter has written a book, “Rethinking Christ and Culture: A Post-Christendom Perspective.” It is a systematic and predictive beckon to the modern day church to evaluate its current position in Post-Christendom strategy. The church is then to turn away from its inclination to Christendom, and pursue consistent loyalty and dedication to world missions as per the teachings of the Bible (Carter 206).
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The book goes on to elaborate how over a significant period of time, the church has been influenced by the changing culture. The order of things has been reversed; instead of the church being a place of special honor and influence, it is now irrelevant (Cater 279). In the Christendom model, assumption has been made that Christians are the pillars of society tradition and therefore they must customize their application of perfect Christ to the corrupt culture (Carter 308). Intrigued by the failure of this paradigm, Carter explains that the model is a depiction of a poor imitation of the Church, distortion of the Gospel and treachery to the teachings of Jesus Christ (457).
Carter’s objective was to disapprove the widespread analysis that figuratively depicts that church. The analysis tries to relate church and tradition; Christ against culture, Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox, and Christ transforming culture. Carter explanation of this relation between the church and non religious, suggests that they both unite in their observation of Christian faith (470). He argues that, this assumption is particularly wrong because it is not biblical and theologically out of place (Carter 492).
The Western culture has infiltrated the church to a greater extent in the Western world. The purpose of the church has been changed and divided. The churches of all ends are confined to the niche cut out for them by the modern day Christendom. The niche defines to them the role of private reprieve to individuals and supporters of morality in the society. Carter’s proposition is that the main agenda of the church should be Christ’s death and resurrection, which in itself is a transformation of the world.
With the current collapse of Christendom, Carter’s book is insightful at a time when it is needed. This is especially true as the church is coming to terms with the current critical moment and the evident need for the church to act. Carter guides the church to embrace its purpose of pronouncing God’s kingdom upon His coming. He also advises the church to proclaim God’s kingdom here on earth by living as per the teachings of Jesus Christ. This new approach cannot be achieved through Christendom. Carter redirects the duty of the church, to focus on the gospel of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ with contextual approach, rather than focusing on the elusive influence on the society’s morals and practices.
Carter’s book is undoubtedly resourceful in this present time to academicians and researchers. The suitability of this book is in its guidance in a society that has gradually drifted from Christianity. In criticizing this development in the church, Carter offers proper guidance which is suitable to all. With carefully chosen examples that reflect biblical perspective of the church. The book provides a careful scrutiny of the churches inclination to civil culture which eventually corrupts its biblical mandate.
Carter, Craig A. Rethinking Christ and Culture: A Post-Christendom Perspective. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press, 2006.