Monday, November 15, 2010

Michael Craven: historic church violence set stage for secularism, "atheological" churches

A worthwhile summary and challenge:

However, in the seventeenth century a much more pernicious secularism appeared that emphasized the complete exclusion of religion from every aspect of public life. As to the cause of this shift, the church need not look to anything other than itself. Following the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and the later Catholic Counter-Reformation, Europe was thrown into political, military, and economic upheaval as nations descended into wars of religion over doctrinal and theological disputes. The Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) was both an international religious conflict and a German civil war, involving Lutheran, Reformed, and Catholic regions and nations. In direct response to theological disagreements, these wars were carried out by the unholy convergence of church and state. By 1700, Europeans had had enough. The resulting carnage, social disintegration, and economic hardships would open Europeans to an “age of reason” over and against their religious past. As Alister McGrath, Christian theologian and Oxford scholar, points out, “The scene was set for the Enlightenment insistence that religion was to be a matter of private belief” (McGrath, Christianity’s Dangerous Idea, [HarperOne: New York, NY, 2007])...

...As a result, theology and doctrine—the foundations of our faith—have taken a backseat in the daily life and practice of the church. Many churches have simply become atheological and proud of it. We have opted for personal and corporate experiences rather than intellectual rigor and discipleship that may contest one’s personal theological notions. I use the term theological rather loosely here. The facts are, many American Christians either don’t know anything related to historic orthodox Christian theology or they have accumulated a collection of inconsistent notions about God that blend various theological positions into one that best suits them.

Read the whole article at Dakota Voice


The Underground Pewster said...

Some churches may be atheological but would deny it. They have in fact set up a new theology without testing it against the wisdom of the past.

People readily swallow the new theology because it tastes good.

The Underground Pewster said...

Not because it is rich in fiber.