Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Practical Atheists

Steve shares an observation from Father Stephen Freeman on a particular "Church of Christ" group he'd encountered some years ago. From his experience, he makes a practical observation about folks who believe God has essentially "withdrawn" from human history.  Here's the upshot:

"Though they had great, even absolutist, faith in the Holy Scriptures, they had no relationship with a God who is living and active and directly involved in their world. Had their notion of a God died, and left somebody else in charge of His heaven, it would not have made much difference so long as the rules did not change. I realize that this is strong criticism, but it is important for us to understand what is at stake. The more the secular world is exalted as secular, that is, having an existence somehow independent of God, the more we will live as practical atheists - perhaps practical atheists who pray (but for what do we pray?). I would also suggest that the more secular the world becomes for Christians, the more political Christians will become. We will necessarily resort to the same tools and weapons as those who do not believe."

I think this is spot on.  The group referenced in the quotation were hard-core inerrantists and believed all miraculous and supernatural works had ceased at the writing of the NT - a view I have read and heard within C of C circles.  While I discarded this view long ago, I hadn't made the connection between this perspective and the rampant secularism and lack of plain discipleship in many modern churches, but I think it's a strong and fair point to make.

HT to Steve.

1 comment:

Chris Buxton said...

I think this is absolutely correct. Outstanding observation.