Ross Douthat laments America’s departure from its Christian center and is convinced that we have become a “nation of heretics.” This plunge into heresy can be traced to the Jesus Seminar, Elaine Pagels and Dan Brown.
I would add some others to the list! His narrative of decline implicates the sexual revolution, globalization, (by which he means exposure to non-Christian religions), the Vietnam War, liberal seminaries, the ordination of women, the growing acceptance of divorce and the growing acceptance of homosexuality. Obviouosly, contemporary expressions of Christianity have given traditionalist Douthat a bit of heartburn!
Some key questions:
1. Is his suggestion that American Christians prefer therapy over theology correct?
2. Are theologians failing to engage the public, as he argues?
3. Is his assumption that America is a Christian nation appropriate?
4. What do you think of his assertion that vitality in Christianity has been primarily sustained by the unlikely partnership of Roman Catholics and evangelicals?
5. What does he make of the contemporary quest for spirituality?
6. How does he view the role of capitalism in shaping Christianity today?
7. What solution to this morass does he offer?
I am currently in my second year in Brite Divinity School’s Ph.D. program in Pastoral Theology. The program is enriching and challenging, and is allowing me to explore research questions that have deep implications for me both vocationally and personally. Little did I know at the time of my matriculation, Central’s create program was preparing me for this unique experience. The curriculum of create, and the culture of Central, nurtured my deep interests in theological education, and equipped me for meaningful ministerial engagement. Because of create’s focus on praxis and innovative ministry involvement, I found myself uniquely positioned for various levels of engagement with the Church, communities, and the wider global context.