But Christians are still working up a menu.

The advent of the decade of the seventies confronted theologians, and more particularly those regarding themselves as “liberal,” with inevitable shifts in theological focus. The preceding two decades were marked by the most serious attempts at reevaluation of “religious language,” these being the outcome of, among other things, the quest of theology for meaning. This quest was accelerated by the impact of current scientific and technological advances.

Theologians seemed to feel that the demand for precision in scientific expression in general made it necessary to restate traditional theological concepts. Behind this lay the conviction that modern man would reject traditional concepts out of hand as totally outdated.

This led, especially from the midsixties, to a mania among theologians of the trendy type to a new and seemingly inescapable coming to grips with secular culture. By the opening of the seventies, many felt that the basic groundwork of this process had been laid. Technopolitan man was glorified as the harbinger of a new day in which such questions as the normative quality of Christian faith for all of mankind were hopelessly anachronistic. The “secular man” whose thought forms and mores were drawn from urbanized life was proclaimed to be the model for the future.

Along with The Secular City, and broadly supportive of its thesis, came the “prophetic” words of Charles Reich’s The Greening of America with its siren song of the end of an era. Through the development of a new level of consciousness, especially among pot-smoking youth, there was promised an end of bourgeois life forms to which historic Christianity was allegedly bound.

A situation surfaced, however, in which it ...

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