Several of you sent this article by a conservative New York Times columnist with some very valid criticisms of liberal Christianity.
I disagree with the author that liberals like Bishop Spong are the reason the mainstream denominations are in decline, but I do agree that Spong and most of the liberal theologies never identified an organizing principle for a reformation radical enough to lead us into the future. Instead, like the new atheists, many liberals gathered a crowd by beating the dead horse with ever more exotic weapons.
All of us can see the mainstream denominations in decline, but we also see brilliant and wonderful nontheistic alternatives failing to develop sustainable communities. What few are willing or able to see is that “liberal” and “conservative” are arcs on a cultural continuum which is itself collapsing. The answer lies off the pallet of acceptable conversational topics.
These are times that call us to our roots, which means to be “radical.” The answers we need will not be found in any of the religions or anti-religions of our culture. The answers we need lie in nature, in our common humanity, and in the mystery out of which it all comes. If religion can make those connections, it will help us find our way, if it does not, religion becomes our worst problem. The failure of liberal theology like any philosophy of our age lies in not being radical and universal enough. In navigating a stormy ocean, only a deep rudder will save the ship.
To read NY Times article, click here.