This is not just another volume dealing with the relation of
Christianity and society for any book that comes from the pen of
this distinguished member of the faculty at Yale University is
deserving of special attention. Professor Niebuhr identifies five
viewpoints on this subject that have been represented in Christian
thought over the centuries: (1) Christ against culture - a
separation from "the world"; (2) The Christ of culture - the
identification of Christianity and civilization; (3) Christ above
culture - the Thomist position; (4) Christ and culture in paradox -
Luther's position; (5) Christ transforming culture - exemplified by
Augustine and Calvin. Niebuhr does not accept any of the above
viewpoints, nor does he advance one of his own. Rather, he
maintains that all of these solutions contain some truth and that
there can be no one "Christian answer" but only the Christian's
individual answer. Niebuhr's liberal use of illustrative material
saves his book from being abstract and difficult and makes it
significant not only to theologians but to a much wider group.
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