The luxury of writing off large swaths of Christian churches or denominations based on minor doctrinal disagreements disappeared once we entered post-Christendom full on. Now, as a minority voice in culture, we are looking for friends wherever we can find them.
When done from an unhealthy place, these new alliances have the ring of old retailers like Sears or Kmart who can no longer compete in the marketplace of ideas. But when done out of conviction about the needs for the unity of the church in responding to an increasingly indifferent post-Christendom society, they strike me as creative, inventive and hopeful.
What characterizes a sort of Western “underground” church doing well within a larger context of the church having been pushed to the margins of society?
It is OK for followers of Jesus to address incomplete, poor or dangerous ideas as stupid. But it is never OK to decide that a person is of lower worth based on their I.Q.
“Religion” derives from the same word as “ligament.” It is ultimately a connecting force and, with no divine object or mysterium tremendum, our experiences of awe are ultimately self-referential and delusional.
Let’s start with a little perspective: we write and read this column from the vantage point of being the most insanely wealthy people in the history of the human race.
If grit is that important, why is it so elusive? Why do so many in our day lack the perseverance to tackle problems that exceed their current skill set? Is it a simple matter of impulse control? Distraction? Character flabbiness?
North Americans are increasingly likely to attribute success not to luck, but to talent and hard work. Increasingly, we believe that we “make our own luck.” That’s a problem.
Expect the future to bring an intensifying and polarizing acceleration on all fronts of those human-animal relationships.