Some years ago Professor David Cairns wrote about The Faith of a Modern Christian. It is high time someone wrote another volume under the title The Loss of Faith in Modern Christianity. For what remains of faith when God is considered dead and the Bible is demythologized? When Christianity is secularized and heaven is thought to be empty of the reigning Christ?
Of course, we can still believe in humanity and the world, for these are realities to be seen. And these, we are now often told, are enough for any man who would still be religious; for here is life—self-creative, surprising, and forward-moving; here are our fellow men, the concrete objects of our human concern; here is the world, as a challenge to be subdued for the general good. What more religion can any modern man want than these? For too long, it is said, Christian faith has been bogged down by overweight baggage carrying antiquated labels.
Quite clearly, modern theology has rid itself of its “theos.” It keeps its “ology,” but with other prefixes: anthropo-, psycho-, socio-. Man, self, society—these are our “theoi”; these are our gods, which have rescued us from our out-of-date-ness.
A host of titles take note of current theological “trends,” “developments,” “perspectives,” “varieties,” “types,” “directions,” “crises.” It is hard to keep pace with these trends and developments. We soon run out of breath as we are led first down one road and then down another. Often along the way we discover that we are approaching a dead end; either God is not there or what is called “God” is so unlike the Christian characterization that we cannot discern divinity at all.
A generous lot of options are offered to us; we can choose the Ground of Being, or the Principle of Cohesion ...1
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