Ecumenism and Epistemology

Why does Christianity seem so implausible to so many people in the modern world? In an interview by Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio concerning Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society , Brad Gregory suggests an answer.

One of the reasons that early modern political thinkers and philosophers concluded that theology was a matter of private judgment was the inability of Christians to agree on some of the basic claims of their faith. There seemed to be no way to adjudicate differences between Calvinists and Lutherans, much less Protestants and Catholics. Thinkers concluded that theological claims must be sheerly subjective because interminable post-Reformation debates made theological claims appear to be sheerly subjective.

Which means, conversely, that ecumenism is not only about ecclesiology. It is also about apologetics, even epistemology. As churches discover their commonalities, confess the faith together, and overcoming long-standing differences, they make Christianity intellectually and culturally plausible again.

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