Monday, June 02, 2014

What?  You might have heard that Giles Fraser’s latest opinion piece criticized liberal Christianity for shrinking from the most important spiritual issues - including “a theology of the cross” - to recline on an ineffectual “theology of nice.”  He’s agreeing with the Global South, Stand Firm, and all the haters, right?


While he does say this,
“ one needs churches to be nice or tasteful. If churches have a future, it’s in addressing our existential darkness: sin and death. Progressive politics is important, but it doesn’t do any deep religious work…”
...but then says this,
And liberals in the church will have to rediscover this after we have won our culture wars.
AFTER.  The unique “centre” of Christianity, it’s challenging and transforming theology of the cross, comes AFTER “winning our culture wars.”  If it comes up at all, it’s AFTER this “victory,”
The culture wars afflicting the Church of England are basically over. By the end of the summer, the General Synod will have agreed women bishops. And while the fight for full gay equality has some way to run, this one is substantially over too: not least because the demographics are pushing inexorably in a liberal direction.
AFTER they get their way on their issues, they might consider the Gospel.  But even in “victory,” Fraser concedes that such is not their disposition, own brand of liberal Christianity too often seeks salvation through a few gentle verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful or lots of self-important dressing up and wandering around in fancy churches.
SF commenter Seanny Rotten shows the emphatic truth of this in The Episcopal Church, which has devastated itself to give a culture war “win” to a guy who promptly bailed on any pretense of contending for the Gospel to serve causes that tickle his fancy.

Cold comfort, I suppose, to have orthodox Christian warnings validated while sitting among the ruins.

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