Friday, 15 September 2017

Culture and Liberal Christianity


It has been a while since my last post. I'm reading a fascinating book called, "Disappearing Church," by Mark Sayers. In it I find some fascinating insights, including these thoughts on our current culture in light of the advance, some would say the decay, of the liberal church. .
 
"Like a team of suicide bombers who obliterate themselves yet irrevocably change the cultural atmosphere, liberal Christianity has essentially destroyed itself as an ecclesiological, institutional force, yet has won the culture over to its vision of a Christianity reshaped for contemporary tastes.
While cursory glances at our culture’s religious hue can give one the impression of atheism, we will soon see its liberal Christian residue. Following liberal Christianity’s lead, the majority of Westerners hold to a belief in a pleasant afterlife and a benevolent Christian-esque god. However, the doctrines of divine judgment and hell are ditched as repugnantly retrograde. Concepts of personal morality and the pursuit of virtue are replaced by a desire for the common good… 
In this reformulated understanding of sin and evil, salvation is achieved through the gaining of enlightened attitude… Thus those who have gained this enlightened attitude… …form a refashioned concept of the Biblical notion of the elect. This community of the elect has moved beyond the need for concrete forms of church and association, and instead form a culture based on shared opinion manifested in a language based on a correctness of speech, opinion and belief.  Sin is recast as purely unenlightened attitudes. 
Now with the culture reflecting the values of the liberal mainline churches, one simply leaves the church."
In a sense, the author concludes, we see in this adoption of the church by the culture, this, "ghost memory" of Christianity, as Tim Keller has put it, a revival of the ancient heresy of Pelagianism, the belief that we can accomplish our salvation on our own.

We must remember, though, that it is Christ who is building his church, and nothing, even the, "gates of hell" will not prevail against it. "Heaven and earth," and even false beliefs will eventually pass away, but the true body of Christ will last forever.

Take Care

 

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