An interesting article that was shared on Facebook argues that progressive or liberal Christianity is where Christianity is headed in our time. John Shore, the author, makes some good points along the way, regardless whether you find his point about the alleged inevitability of what he depicts less than persuasive. Here’s a sample:
In the old days, it was easy for the vast majority of American Christians to believe that, say, Jews and homosexuals (to name but two of the many, many groups Christians traditionally so destine) are going to hell. And what made it so emotionally and spiritually comfortable for so many Christians to assert that? Because none of them knew any Jews or homosexuals. No Jews or gays had a nearby farm; no Jews or gays were at the county fair; no Jews or gays attended the local PTA meetings; you never ran into either at the hardware store. The Jews were (however involuntarily) sequestering themselves in places like New York City; and while you may have interacted with a gay man over in the pipes department, that was his secret…
It’s a great deal more troubling to condemn to hell someone for whom you have affection than it is an abstract member of an abstract group. Growing up in my white suburban neighborhood, I didn’t know a single person who was Hindu. Today there are five young men who are Hindu living right next door to me. Those young men have become friends. If part of my theology insists that my Hindu friends are going to hell, you better believe I’m going to reassess that part of my theology. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.
It’s typical to think that theology is static and permanent. It’s not, though. What’s true instead is that theology follows sociology. And slowly but surely we are all becoming members of one big society. At the very least media, generally, and the Internet in particular, has made world travelers, and culture tourists, of us all.
I’d be interested to know what readers think of the article. The main reason that I am hesitant to presume that Shore is right is because Liberal Christianity has been in the ascendance before, and fundamentalist Christianity emerged as a backlash – and much the same phenomenon can be traced in the Islamic world and in other religious traditions. But it is not inappropriate to hope that Shore may be right…
On a related note, Brian LePort shared this cartoon about Christian jargon and immaturity:
Finally, Justin Topp discussed Christian theology evolving along with science, and Joel Watts managed to challenge Ken Ham’s lies about science and the Bible directly enough that not only Ham’s supporters but even Ham himself responded.