It is inarguable that the contemporary western culture in which we live is in a spiritual tailspin. Some have labeled our era “the Post-Christian era,” others “the Post-Modern Era.” In any case, we are post, or past that which came just a few decades ago. I would assert that we are in a “The Post-Modernistic Christian Era.”
What I mean by a "Post Modernistic Christian era" is that we live in an age wherein the masses have analyzed & rejected the precepts & practices of the particular brand of Christianity that has given shape to the western mind. Unfortunately, that also means that most persons assume that they know Christianity in toto, & found it lacking.
Consequently, the western church is in deep turmoil. It is undeniable that western Christianity is experiencing a shrinking membership, & a diminishing redemptive effect on our culture; this reality stresses the fact that we cannot remain in this state.
All agree that "status quo" is not an option if we desire to survive in this new world. If we in the western church are to successfully plot a track towards the future, it is imperative that we understand how Christianity arrived at its present place. This also means that we must ask what exactly has been rejected by the masses, & why?
1- The vain God who desires nothing more than his honor.
2- The angry, yet loving God.
3- The simplistic explanations of creation, why evil exists, and right & wrong.
4- The sure versions of truth based on one individual’s view of reality.
The above rejections are completely justified, I say this because the earliest expressions of Christianity did not hold to any of those four precepts. Nevertheless, some version of these precepts listed above are alive & well in most expressions of western Christianity. It seems fitting therefore to state that one can be a Christian & yet not hold to the above objections. Moreover, it may even be said that in order for Christianity is to survive in the west, we must recover the purer Christianity that was free from these modernistic additions.
I suggest we begin by considering how & when we adopted the above points of view above as central tenets of our faith. In other words, we must figure out how these tenets got into the faith & then ask ourselves what existed prior to their entrance. What was the earlier & purer way? If there has ever been a better/purer way, then we should not only be familiar with that way, but also consider using that way as the pattern for the future.