It has served the typical religious function of legitimating social systems and values and of creating structures of meaning, plausibility, and compensation for society as it faces loss and .
The Christian community has sometimes exercised this religious function in collusion with tribalistic nationalisms (e.g., the “German Christians” and Nazism) by disregarding traditional church tenets.
From the perspectives of history and sociology, the Christian community has been related to the world in diverse and even paradoxical ways.
This is reflected not only in changes in this relationship over time but also in simultaneously expressed alternatives ranging from withdrawal from and rejection of the world to theocratic triumphalism.
The “Christ and culture in paradox” type views the Christian community’s relationship to the world in terms of a permanent and dynamic tension in which the kingdom of God is not of this world and yet is to be proclaimed in it.
A well-known expression of this position is ’s law–gospel dialectic, distinguishing how the Christian community is to live in the world as both sinful and righteous at the same time.
This was probably best expressed by ’s conviction that grace or the supernatural does not destroy nature but completes it.This took place in the development of the in the 16th century.At times, too, the secular state declared itself Christian and the executor of the spiritual, political, and social commission of the church; it understood itself to be the representative of the kingdom of God.This development took place in both the toward the existing political order was determined by the imminent expectation of the kingdom of God, whose miraculous power had begun to be visibly realized in the figure of Jesus Christ.The importance of the political order was, thus, negligible, as Jesus himself asserted when he said, “My kingship is not of this world.” Orientation toward the coming kingdom of peace placed Christians in tension with the state, which made demands upon them that were in direct conflict with their faith.
The relationship of the Christian community to the world may be seen differently depending upon one’s historical, sociological, and theological perspectives because the Christian community is both a creation in the world and an influence upon it. He described the church as a conservative institution that affirms the world and mediates salvation through clergy and sacraments.