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Bautista, Liezl Jean Report # 2

Diaz, Tabitha Prof. Roland Annaguey

Laweng, Riza August 27, 2014
Paano, Theresa Eleanor
Christ the Transformer of Culture

Christs goodness

Conversionist Christianity-Niebuhr defines the conversionist type as basically dualism with a
more positive and hopeful attitude toward culture.

Conversionist Christianitys improved perspective on culture arises from its superior
understanding of the biblical theology of creation, fall and redemption.

1. Conversionists believe that Gods creative activity is important on its own right.
They ground this value of creation in the person of Christ, who not only redeems the world but
saves it as well.
Niebuhr states that grounding creation in the redeemer is the strongest possible way to say that
whatever is is good.
Because the same Christ is the Redeemer and the Creator, thus there is inextricable unity
between redemption and creation.

2. Conversionists carefully distinguish between Gods good creation and the fall.
For them, fall is the great reversal of creation. It is entirely the action of man, and in no
way, an action of Gods. It is moral and personal, not physical and metaphysical,though it
does have physical consequences. The fall corrupts Gods created world that is now
warped, twisted, misdirected. Sins corrupting influence to creation extends to culture.
Like creation, culture is now a perverted good though not entirely evil.This fallen
culture needs conversion, not rebirth, but so radical that it may seem like new birth.

3. Conversionists believe that redemption is a present possibility. They believe that God is
currently transforming the world. The redemption of culture is possible NOW.
According to Niebuhr, The conversionist with his view of history as the present
encounter with God in Christ, does not live so much in expectation of a final ending of
the world of creation and culture as in awareness of the power of the Lord to transform
all things by lifting them up to himself.

*Niebuhr describes Christ as mediating symbol of God. Grounding creation with Christ is
the best way to express its goodness.

II. Conversion Motif in the Gospel of John

-God is known as the One
-The Gospel of John understands creation and redemption to mean the same thing, which is that
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish but have eternallife(John 3:16)
-Like Niebuhr, John does not believe that the worlds perversion is a consequence of historical
fall. The fall is not an event connected with the life of the first man in the sequence of historical
generation; it is a present falling away from the Word.
-Similar to Niebuhr, John defines sin as anthropocentrism. He notes that the world seeks only to
do its own will, is intent on glorifying itself; is full of self-love, call attention to itself and
loves its life in itself. John warns his readers that CHRIST, not the Christian church as a
cultural institution is the hope and true meaning of the world. People alone are responsible for
their anthropocentrism, for there are no supernatural agents to tempt them into sin.
-Niebuhr is eager to demythologize Johns notion of a devil, asserting that John did not mean
that the devil is a real person but rather the world follows a metaphorical devil when it pursues
its own will rather than Gods.
-Johns description of salvation is Niebuhrian; John possesses a holistic view of redemption,
using the term world to refer to the totality of creation and especially of humanity as the
object of Gods love.
-John defines redemption as radical monotheism, the goal of which is nondefensive worship of
the Father.
-John expresses radical monotheism in two steps: people should not merely reciprocate love to
God but should also love creation and all that is loved by God. This act of love, emphasizes
individual motives more than his external actions. God seeks to transform the spirit of the person
so that each action, including religious deeds, spring from a genuine trust and loyalty to Him.

III. Augustine and the Conversion of Culture
The expectation of universal regeneration through Christ emerges somewhat more clearly
in the great Christian leaders of the fourth century. The universalist note does not come to as full
an expression as the idea of conversion, since, as in the case of the Fourth Gospel, the
conversionists need to contend on two fronts
Against the anti-culturalism of exclusive Christianity,
And against the accomodationism of culture-Christians.

According to Charles Norris Cochranes interpretation, the regeneration of human society
through the replacement of pagan by Trinitarian principles is the theme of that Christian
movement which Athanasius and Ambrose began and which Augustine brought to a great climax
in his City of God.
The interpretation of Augustine as the theologian of cultural transformation by Christ is in accord
with his fundamental theory of creation, fall, and regeneration, with his own career as pagan and
Christian, and with the kind of influence he has exercised on Christianity. Augustine not only
describes, but illustrates in his own person, the work of Christ as converter of culture.
Augustine becomes one of the leaders of that great historical movement whereby the society of
the Roman Empire is converted from a Caesar-centered community into medieval Christendom.
He himself an example of what conversion of culture means; contrast to its rejection by radicals,
to its idealization by culturalists, to the synthesis that proceeds largely by means of adding Christ
to good civilization, and to the dualism that seeks to live by the gospel in an inconquerably
immoral society.
For Augustine, Christ is the transformer of culture in the sense that he redirects, reinvigorates,
and regenerates that life of man, expressed in all human works, which in present actuality is the
perverted and corrupted exercise of a fundamentally good nature; which in its depravity lies
under the curse of transiency and death, not because an external punishment has been visited
upon it, but because it is intrinsically self-contradictory.
To mankind with this perverted nature and corrupted culture Jesus Christ has come to heal and
renew what sin has infected with the sickness unto death. By his life and his death he makes
plain to man the greatness of Gods love and the depth of human sin; by revelation and
instruction he reattaches the soul to God, the source of its being and goodness, and restores to it
the right order of love, causing it to love whatever it loves in God and not in the context of
selfishness or of idolatrous devotion to the creature.
The eschatological hope of a new heaven and a new earth brought into being by the coming of
Christ is modified by the belief that Christ cannot come to this heaven and earth but must await
the death of the old and rising of a new creation.
Though Calvinism has been marked by the influence of the eschatological hope of
transformation by Christ and by its consequent pressing toward the realization of the promise,
this element in it has always been accompanied by a separatist and repressive note.

IV. The Views of F.D. Maurice
The idea of Christs transformation of culture can be, in distinction from the other main
motifs of Christian ethics, the tenacity and vitality of the idea of perfection in church history
helps to make clear.
For Wesley, Christ is the transformer of life; he justifies men by giving them faith; he
deals with the sources of human action; he makes no distinctions between the moral and the
immoral citizens of human commonwealths, in convicting all of self-love and in opening to all
the life of freedom in response to Gods forgiving love.
Jonathan Edwards, his profound views of creation, sin, and justification, with his
understanding of the way of conversion and his millennial hopes, became in America the founder
of a movement of thought about Christ as the regenerator of man in his culture.
In the generations represented by Tolstoy, Ritschl, Kierkegaard and Leo XIII, the
conversionist idea had many exponents. Among them is F.D. Maurice, the English theologian.
Yet Maurices influence is pervasive and permeative. He is above all a Johannine thinker, who
begins with the fact that the Christ who comes into the world comes into his own, and that it is
Christ himself who exercises his kingship over men, not a vicegerentwhether pope, Scriptures,
Christian religion, church, or inner light---separate from the incarnate Word.
Maurices understanding of the spiritual constitution of mankind, all the intricate
interrelations of love in the Godhead, of the Fathers love of men and of Christs, of the human
and divine natures of the Son, of the Creating and Redeeming Word, of mans love of neighbor
in God and of God in the neighbor, of family, nation, and church, have their place. But the center
is Christ. In him all things were created to live in union with God and each other.
Maurice is so deeply aware of the sin of self-love and of the tragedy of human
divisiveness, the exploitation of man by man, the self-glorification of notions and churches that
he needs to say little in an explicit way about fall and corruption; it is the undercurrent of all his
The full realization of the kingdom of Christ did not, then, mean the substitution of a new
universal society for all the separate organizations of men, but rather the participation of all these
in the one universal kingdom of which Christ is the head.
Maurice mated the idea of eschatological immediacy. For him and as for John eternity
meant the dimension of divine working, not the negation of time.
The kingdom of God is transformed culture, because it is first of all the conversion of the
human spirit from faithlessness and self-service to the knowledge and service of God. This
kingdom is real, for if God did not rule nothing would exist; and if He had not heard the prayer
for the coming of the kingdom, the world of mankind would long ago have become a den of
robbers. Every moment and period is an eschatological present, for in every moment men are
dealing with God.

The Missionary Impact on Culture
By: Lamin Sanneh

Familiarity Breeds Faith: First and Last Resorts in Vernacular Translation
The distinguishing mark of scriptural translation has been the effort to come as close as
possible to the speech of the common people. Translators have consequently first devoted much
time, effort, and resources to building the basis, with investigations into the culture, history,
language, religion, economy, anthropology, and physical environment of the people concerned,
before tackling their concrete task. This background work was often indispensable to the task of
authentic translation.
The field Dimension in Translation
Long before anthropology made field work an indispensable part of scientific inquiry, the
agents of scriptural translation had blazed trails in that world, making connections that often
illuminated hitherto inaccessible worlds of though and life. Sometimes perhaps ofthen the price
paid was the committing of gratuitous errors or a blind persistence that elicited completely
different responses from what the Bible translator expected. Whatever the case, translator had no
way to acquit themselves other than through cannons of the local idioms.
In other situations the error is committed before the translator has discovered the cultural
gap. One translator in Latin America rendered Rev. 13:15, gave breath to the image, in a way
that rendered it as He made the image stink.
Quite often the translator will find no analogous expression in the culture.
A central category for translation is the concept GOD and it may happen that both the
notion and the name are readily accessible. But where this is not the case, the translator is at a
serious disadvantages.
Valiente Indians of Panama the name for God is great mystery.
Alphonse there is no need to dwell on symbolic significance, the trails of the initiated in order
to find and claim Ngobo as his God.
Ila of Zamba God is called Shikakunamo the besetting one
Ila makes crucial points;
God eludes firm human grasp
The religious will is undeterred by natural obstacles;
And ultimately God is One with whom we have always to do.