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The Gospel and Western Culture

I have begun reading a book for one of my seminary courses, Foolishness to the Greeks, The Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin.  I have just begun to read the book, but it has already raised a good deal of questions in my mind.

The western world has come so far in science and reasoning that we find ourselves living in a society where facts rule the public arena and we relegate values to our private lives.  We no longer need to seek new knowledge for ourselves; we just listen to the experts and trust them to tell us what is true and what is not.  Furthermore, because of our advanced understanding, each individual has the right to determine what is right or wrong, to determine his or her values and worldview.  We can believe whatever we want, just as long as we keep it to ourselves and not try to impose our values and beliefs on others.

But try to take our beliefs into the public square and now we are preaching heresy in a world dictated by facts.  How dare I try to impose my values on others?  Have I not read the latest issue of so-and-so magazine that says religion is only for those who are weak minded and cannot think for oneself?  Oh, how ignorant of me to think that we should live in a society of common norms and values.  That would be imposing my religion on everyone’s right to live his or her own life.  Society cannot tolerate such thoughts.

Is it any wonder that Christianity is losing ground in the western culture?

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Categories: community, discipleship, faith
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