I just finished a blog series at another site on a topic of interest to readers of this blog. The title of the series is “Christ the Sanctifier of Behavior,” and it deals with how Christians should approach the culture around them. In the series, I summarize the three most influential views regarding Christianity and culture, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each, and draw some conclusions based on the idea that culture in Scripture is simply “behavior” (something I argue in another series).
Here is the concluding paragraph of the series:
Understanding culture as behavior provides a fourth alternative that combines the strengths of each view and protects against their respective weakness. This view, which could be called the sanctificationist approach to culture, simply seeks to apply what the Bible has to say about behavior to every area of the Christian’s life. A Christian is to be holy in all of his conduct; the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to progressively sanctify that conduct each day. A Christian does not have to overly concern himself with how to interact with the behavior of others; he simply lives out his Christian life according to the precepts found in scripture. When the behavior of unbelievers reflects those same precepts, he will resemble the unbeliever’s culture; when it does not, separation must take place. Nevertheless, in either case, the believer’s good conduct among the unbelievers will shine forth as a beacon of truth to draw them to redemption in Jesus Christ. And when they are redeemed, their culture will change. Perhaps the best NT posture for Christians who are in the world but not of the world is found in 1 Peter 1:17-18: “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers.”