August 16, 2003

"another religious Great Awakening"

But this isn't a good thing according to Nicholas D. Kristof, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, in a piece here at - Believe It, or Not - Aug. 15, 2003. Kristof believes that the movement in popular American Christian theology, which he says is "becoming less intellectual and more mystical," will result in "a growing polarization within our society" and "fundamental divide between America and the rest of the industrialized world." Hmm...maybe. Of course, Kristof's opinion assumes that's a bad thing, and that we agree with him. I'm not saying I don't, I'm just saying I'm not ready to leap to that conclusion without a little study.

No coincidence, I'm sure, that my wife shared with me her insights into Revelation 18 this morning:

"Babylon is fallen -- that great city is fallen! Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God is ready to judge her for her evil deeds." (Revelation 18:2, 4-5)

"Today we talk about the necessity for Christians to live 'in the world,' but never to be 'of the world," she said to me over breakfast. "Will a time come when we must separate ourselves again from the world?"

I don't know. The prophecy seems to point toward that, but it makes me feel too much like my independent, fundamentalist brethren who have taken "Come out from them and be separate" so far out of it's Biblical context as to abandon the doctrines of church interdependence and cooperation.

One final note: Kristof says his greatest concern is that "the great intellectual traditions of Catholic and Protestant churches alike are withering, leaving the scholarly and religious worlds increasingly antagonistic." I wonder if he's ever heard of people like John C. Polkinghorne (who won the Templeton Prize in 2002)?

And here I thought we were living in a time of convergence. =/


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