Christ and Culture Part 2

4. Christ and Culture is in Paradox
This view differs from the preceding option by maintaining that while both Christ and culture claim our loyalty tension between them cannot be reconciled by any lasting synthesis.
Luther maintained that sin is universal and inside a Christian all of His earthly life, thereby making it impossible to attempt any kind of utopian society on earth. I agree that though God has dealt with our sinful nature in Christ, we are susceptible to sinful desires (sins not unto death, because our sin nature has been removed and replaced with Christ in us) and as such will never have heaven on earth.

Christ in us has fulfilled the law of God on which our societies are based in order to ensure justice and law and order. The law is in play over our physical bodies and behaviour in society, which Christ affirms. We live by the grace of God without the law and find that we naturally fulfil the law of God and affirm the law of the land. Christ has become to us an “eternal law” that fulfils the “temporal law” of God.

These two are held in tension, we still hav  to account for our actions, but by God’s grace we have forgiveness of sins and a new nature at work within us. The temporal law is in place not to make the ungodly righteous, but as a means of limiting the far-reaching effects of sin in this world. As a church we uphold the law, not through self-effort but in our natural adherence to Godly principles through the natural inclination to submit ourselves to Godly authority

As Christians we are simultaneously subject to both the nature of Christ in us and the reality of an unrenewed and sinful mind,expressed through a physical and limited body. In the world we are subject to temporal law, and yet in Christ we are subject to the grace of God for our salvation. Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the temporal law in us as believers.

The Christian life is a paradox, and keeping the two realms distinct has far-reaching effects. Since we are saved by grace and not our own works, we have no grades of holiness, or any need to separate ourselves from culture. This ultimately means that any vocation provided it is a true vocation, a station in life instituted by God, can be pursued for the glory of God. So we are in fact set free to serve.