MADPRIEST’S THOUGH FOR THE DAY

I think authentic Christianity is fundamentally liberal in its ethics. However, in England, the word "liberal" when linked to doctrinal matters tends to imply a non-realist position whilst authentic Christianity is fundamentally realist. This deliberately engineered (by Biblical fundamentalists) common misunderstanding of the word "liberal" has led to a situation where those who have the most orthodox understanding of the person of Christ and his teachings are automatically assumed to have no belief in the reality of his divinity and historical existence. The irony is that the word "evangelical" has now become synonymous with bigoted, patriarchal fundamentalism and the word "catholic" just conjures up the immediate image of the child molesting priest and a gay-bashing gay hierarchy. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword as they say.

Comments

MADPRIEST’S THOUGH FOR THE DAY — 3 Comments

  1. As usual, spot on.
    It started in the 1960s, when God is Dead theology became popular. Before then (my interest in this is because it’s important to the history of Modern Church) the ‘liberals’ were trying to show that Christian belief was consistent with modern science & biblical scholarship. Then logical positivism became popular and persuaded many people that there can’t possibly be a god. Lots of clergy lost their faith. What to do? And what about all those people who loved church services but were never interested in the belief side of things? Why not carry on going to church, and just reinterpret everything? Since then evangelicals have often lumped these people together with everyone else who disagrees with evangelicalism, and called the whole lot ‘liberal’.
    As I see it, liberal Christianity is stronger. It can adapt to new situations and new information. It isn’t as brittle as fundamentalism, which keeps people on the straight and narrow until they rebel and go to the other extreme. We can even talk about what we mean by God, without suspecting each other of being not-to-be-talked-to.

  2. the ‘liberals’ were trying to show that Christian belief was consistent with modern science & biblical scholarship. Then logical positivism became popular and persuaded many people that there can’t possibly be a god.

    Anyone see a parallel to Newman here?

    A rewrite:

    “the [Anglo-Catholics] were trying to show that [Catholic] belief was consistent with [Anglicanism]. Then [Popoidism] became popular and persuaded many people that there can’t possibly be [Anglo-Catholicism].”

  3. I agree that reasonably understood, liberal Christianity is much stronger than what we call you Evangelical and we call fundamentalism. In fact, it is interesting to hear angry activist-atheists object to liberal Christianity because their mindless attacks do not work.

    FWIW
    jimB