Secularity: dogma meets diversity

Friends, again many thanks for all of your helpful feedback. I am concerned to avoid the impression of accepting the secularist assumptions but this is the world we live in – if I understand Charles Taylor rightly. I think his ”A Secular Age” is a must read. I agree with Tudor about how secularity raises questions on the realignment of churches. For me the options are well spelled out by Wilbert Schenk in his outline of five possible responses. I would want to position myself between mainstreaming (a big fear of evangelicals) and a reactionary position. I would opt for what he calls “critical engagement” – this is what we need to work out. The field I am involved in (so you know where I am coming from) is city-centre church, preparing leaders and new ministries. Juliette’s comment about deterioration of discipleship rings true to me and as we need to prepare Christians to act as salt and light in society. Sometimes it seems that churches position themselves against each other – which is to ignore that each church is only part of the body of Christ in the city and not a complete representation. Why can we not act together as limbs, joints, tendons, etc? Emma makes this point well in using a different metaphor of churches behaving as ’islands’. The callenge of the new atheism in the media and government is well made by Michael. I tend to see new ministries with immigrant Christians as a sign of hope here. I am thinking of amplifying on the story of the religious platform set up by the city of Rotterdam in this regard. Well, it is not long now and I look forward to reflecting more with you, perhaps in a more face to face way. Greetings, Robert