church/world reading plan

Join me:

  • H. Richard Niebuhr‘s Christ and Culture in which he analyzes the church/culture relationship in terms of the categories Christ against culture, Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox, Christ transforming culture.
  • John Howard Yoder‘s essay “A People in the World”, collected in The Royal Priesthood, in which an alternative typology of the church/world relationship is presented – the Conversionist church, the Activist church and the Confessing church. (The Royal Priesthood also contains the essay “Peace Without Eschatology?”, which is really phenomenal and about which I will post sometime.)
  • Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon‘s Resident Aliens in which the authors offer a critique of Niebuhr’s typology and a supportive account of Yoder’s as part of their larger account of what has gone wrong with the church’s relation to the world and what the exciting possibilities are for recovering an authentic Christian witness.

I think this would be an excellent program of reading in response to my earlier post on the primacy doing church well.  Full disclosure: I’ve read Resident Aliens already, as should be clear from previous posts, and it inspires this program.  I’m likely inclined to accept Yoder’s view of things and Hauerwas and Willimon’s critique of H. Richard, but I’ve wanted to read Christ and Culture on its own merits for a while anyway.

Look for forthcoming posts on this (eventually).  And drop me a comment if you want to join in.  Reading about the church alone… by definition not ideal.

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