Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christianity Today Gleanings: Conservatism, Leavers, Social Justice and Amish Wisdom

…from the November 2010 issue, the first of my gift subscription from dear daughter Kate. :-)

On Conservative Christianity and Politics
I'm a conservative, but I think the Christian faith stands in judgment of all political ideologies. When it's too closely identified with any of them, it becomes a tool in someone else's power game. (Michael Gerson in "Faithfully and Politically Present," an interview by Sarah Pulliam Bailey). 
I agree. And, from the same interview:
The purpose of Christian social engagement is not to seek a preferred status for Christianity but to pursue a vision of universal human dignity informed by our faith.
On the Departure of Young Adults from the Church
…approximately 70 percent of American youth drop out of church between the age of 18 and 22…80 percent of those reared in the church will be "disengaged" by the time they are 29. (Drew Dyck, "The Leavers")
That's what StB and the Canadian Anglican (and mainline?) scene looks like. Disturbing.

On Evangelicalism and Social Justice

…from an article on Vernon Grounds by Scott Wenig, "A Man for All Evangelicals," in which he quotes Grounds on the essence of the Gospel:
…the gospel brings us under the lordship of the Saviour who measurelessly extends neighbour responsibility. Christ makes our in-group not just the church but the whole family of humanity, refusing to let ethnicity, ancestry, geography, ideology, or even theology limit our responsibility to our neighbour.
Measurelessly. Not even theology. Hmmm.

On Insights into Christianity from the Amish

…Randall L Frame, "Spirituality for the Long Haul: What the Amish Can, and Cannot, Teach Evangelicals."
We live in an instant society, and many Christians approach their spiritual lives that way. Many Christians look for quick, easy, painless ways to grow spiritually, and they often end up being disappointed with the growth they see. The Amish point us to the importance of patient practice. They remind us that engaging in everyday—sometimes tedious—practices over long periods of time is the most trustworthy way to foster spiritual depth. 
Patient practice. Everyday. Long periods of time. Therein lies the genius of the daily office.

Good reading. Thanks, Kate!