Original Research

Die verhouding kerk en wereld/kultuur in die lig van die Pauliniese 'asof nie' (ὡς μή)

G. M.M. Pelser
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 52, No 4 | a1557 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v52i4.1557 | © 1996 G. M.M. Pelser | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 1996 | Published: 13 December 1996

About the author(s)

G. M.M. Pelser, Departement Nuwe-Testamentiese Wetenskap (Afd A) Universiteit van Pretoria Abstract, South Africa

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The relationship church and world/culture in light of the Pauline 'as if not' (ὡς μή). In this study the question is posed as to whether Paul was of the opinion that, apart from proclaiming the gospel, the church should be involved in cultural matters and even take the responsibility for furthering cultural causes. The bulk of the study is devoted to Paul's advice to his readers in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, and especially 7:29-31. Concerning the latter passage, the possibility of Stoic influence on Paul is weighed, and, although such influence is not ruled out altogether, it is argued that Paul's advice should rather be seen against the background of his expectation of the imminent end of the world, as well as his conviction that the believer's union with Christ makes any other relationship or involvement a matter of no consequence. The final conclusion of the study is that although Paul did not advocate ascetism or forbade Christians to take part in worldly matters and institutions, he also did not expect them to play an active role in these things or to promote culture. On this basis, it is concluded that Paul may not be used as support for any argument in favour of a cultural involvement or responsibility on the part of the church.


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