The Paradox of Christianity and Culture
From the introduction to Christianity and European Culture: Selections from the Work of Christopher Dawson:
“In many of Dawson’s books, there is a clear tension between the Christian virtue of hope and anxiety over the present world situation. Dawson expresses more doubt about the chances for a Christian civilization than T.S. Eliot, but prefers to see in the contemporary state of affairs a challenge similar to that faced by the early Christian’s. They faced what they thought was the end of the world with hope and joy. They were able to surmount the decaying Roman Empire and create a new civilization for the world while keeping their eyes fixed on the promise of eternal life. It is the paradox of Christianity that those disdainful of temporal affairs created a new world, while the pagans whose vision was fixed on this life disappeared (pg. xxvi).”
This is a great reminder that we are pilgrims amidst the nations and that our primary concern is focusing on the cross and worshipping our holy God. Social righteousness is not the fruit of political savvy but a by-product of Christian lives well lived. Jesus said, “seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you (Mat. 6:33)”.
From the perspective of Christ’s kinship over the nations, what happens in the sacred Assembly on the Lord’s Day is much more important than what happens the rest of the week in the legislative assembly.