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September 07, 2005

1960s Retraction: God is not dead

It was in April 1966 that Time ran an article questioning whether God was dead. Last month, Newsweek ran a story outlining the resurgent spirituality and search for the transcendent which is permeating American society, at the same time reporting church attendance figures as low as 20% (an historic low). But the nature of this search for God is in its focus: not in traditional christian thinking, but in a much more experiential and eclectic field. It is not good theology that people are looking for, but experience.

Whether it be in the mainstreaming of Pentecostalism, the re-emphasis on meditation in Catholic circles, or the increased interest in previously (and in some senses still) marginal faith traditions. The current movement is much more tolerant and open to crossing previously inaccessible divides: it is not unusual for someone to report a christian background, Islamic conversion and adoption of Buddhist practices. In many cases it is holistic, exhibiting a commitment to ecological and environmental concerns. Much less concerned with "pie in the sky when I die", this spirituality bears the hallmarks of immediacy, both in experience of God and in terms of the implications for lifestyle.

There is some good food for thought here, and a grounding in many historical aspects and disciplines of faith. Evangelicalism as we have come to know it may well have impoverished us much more than we are comfortable to admit or prepared to acknowledge.

Read the article here.

Posted by gary at September 7, 2005 07:49 PM


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