An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Smith on Carson's Christ and culture

James K A Smith's review on D A Carson's Christ and Culture Revisited  is online at Christianity Today.

This desire to root Christian thinking about culture in the grand narrative of Scripture is laudable. Unfortunately, I think it's also where the book falters because Carson's summary of the biblical story is, frankly, incomplete. For instance, while he emphasizes the doctrine of creation and that "God made everything," he nowhere discusses what has commonly been described as the "cultural mandate" (Gen 1:27-29) — humanity's creational call to cultivate the possibilities latent within creation through ongoing cultural work. This task of human making is precisely how we image God in the world (as "sub-creators" in Tolkien's words). Instead, Carson tends to treat culture as a given and fails to offer a theology of culture that shows how the work of human making is rooted in creation itself. For Carson, culture always seems to be a noun (something "out there") rather than a verb (something we do).

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