I have recently been reading a book analyzing Niebuhr’s categories of Christianity's relation to culture. I have always found the topic of some interest.
The only thing I can conclude about the relation of the Christian to culture is that it falls into the category of wisdom. The analysis of the Christians relation to culture that I have read in books always seem to fall short.
The bible has a lot to say about the relation of the believer to the culture and the state but often it seems that what is said does not give a large amount of guidance to an overall relation but rather a set of guiding principles.
I can only feel the relation of the Christian to the culture depends on the culture in which one is in. Often there is a certain situation specificity to life that is somewhat bothersome to people.
The bible presents an absolute religion with absolute truth. To no accept the absoluteness of scripture is to be liberal and have unbelief.
Alas wisdom is an absolute category in scripture. In the category of wisdom falls many things and these things depend upon a gift of understanding from God and a trained personhood to know the difference.
You see the criticism of relativity is a rejection of the categories which the bible promotes. I wonder why we wish all the answers to be easy in a box.
I guess wisdom is frightening we need to grow and question and be thinking peoples. It is as if God has entrusted us with the duty to use our judgment.
The call for judgment is a call for man to be as he was in the garden a man of power making decisions. We should love God and do as we please.
You see as a Christian we are free. God has entrusted us with sonship to make choices. We must use judgment.
People often see God as being very specific in giving direction of life. He is very specific in the principles of direction but not the details.
As his sons we need to work out the details for ourselves. If we love him and look to the principles he wishes us to live by we cannot go much wrong as we live by faith.