Carter, Craig A. "The Legacy of an Inadequate Christology: Yoder's Critique of Niebuhr's Christ and Culture." The Mennonite Quarterly Review 77, no. 3 (2003): 387-401
H. Richard Niebuhr's classic Christ and Culture has exerted enormous influence on how we conceptualize the relationship between Christianity and culture. It has persuaded many individuals from pietistic, Anabaptist and fundamentalist backgrounds to view their heritage of opposition to major aspects of the majority culture as something of which to be ashamed, and as something that needs to be discarded in order to become culturally responsible. I argue that John Howard Yoder's trenchant critique of Niebuhr's book has not been given the wide exposure it deserves, especially his argument that Niebuhr's position is vitiated by a weak Christology and a misuse of the doctrine of the Trinity. Niebuhr has introduced great confusion into the debate by treating the "Christ Against Culture" approach as doctrinally deficient, whereas it is his own position that departs from Nicene orthodoxy. I will also show that Yoder's approach to social ethics reveals the radical character of a consistently Nicene approach.
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