CULTURE CLASH & Holy Withdrawal or Holy Accommodation? A Theologian Contrasts the Amish & the Nazis

by Bob Whitesel, 3/10/15

In his article titled “Christ and Culture” author, theologian Thomas Johnson looks at two divergent groups and how each took the wrong approach to secular culture:

  1. The Old Order Amish and
  2. The Christians in Germany who supported the Nazis.

Johnson suggests that to understand Christ and culture, we should consider the following (my students are encouraged to pick one to discuss in a paragraph):

>  John 17, which has some very important insights (pp. 4-5)

>  That, “the ultimate social and cultural critic is the Word of God” (p.6)

>  “The Word correlates with the questions, needs and problems of culture.” (p. 8)

>  “In (Francis) Schaeffer’s terms, ‘Every honest question must be given an honest answer.  It is unbiblical for anyone to say, “Just believe”.’” (footnote, p. 15)

>  “J. Christian Blumhardt, had a fascinating saying, ‘A man must be converted twice, from the natural life to the spiritual life, and after that from the spiritual life to the natural life.” (p. 14).

I especially like the last one, for Blumhardt is making an important point about how our spiritual transformation means not just to Christ, but we also turn toward others to reach them too.

Here is a link to the downloadable article.