Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wisdom from Veith

Gene Edward Veith, the former Culture Editor for World, has an excellent article in the August 19th edition of that magazine called "Recipe for decline."

He writes, "Liberal theology was the bright idea of churchmen who thought the way to make Christianity relevant to a changing culture is to change Christianity accordingly. Thus, while there are many brands of liberal theology, none of them work."

Veith then traces liberal theology from its Enlightenment beginnings (where reason and rationality ruled the day) to romanticism (where emotion and sentimentality replaced objective truth), followed by existentialism, communism, and feminism.

He says, "After World War II, liberal theology was ascendant in nearly all of the mainline Protestant denominations, dominating their seminaries, colleges, bureaucracies, and pulpits. In 1960, 40 percent of the American population attended liberal, mainline churches. But today, that number has plummeted to only 12 percent."

Veith continues that "the liberal theologians continue to dig their own graves, agitating now for gay marriage, gay clergy, feminist ideology, and left-wing politics, no matter how much such measures alienate their few remaining members in the pews. A church that just follows the culture is not worth taking seriously. Liberal churches satisfy no spiritual needs. If there is no sin or salvation or Christ, as the liberal churches say, why should anyone go to church? Why not just sleep in on Sunday mornings?"

He concludes with a warning: "Conservative and evangelical churches, meanwhile, for the most part thrive. But here is the mystery: An ever-growing voice within those (emphasis in the original) churches is now saying, let's change our teachings and our practices to conform to contemporary culture. Why would evangelicals want to embrace the liberal death wish?"

A very good question, indeed.


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