Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Church We Need Now

From Plough-

This year’s five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation comes just as Christianity is undergoing what may prove to be its biggest recalibration since the fourth century. Christendom, the system in which Christianity shaped Western laws and society as the majority religion, has been shaky since the Enlightenment. Now it’s in its death throes, felled by secularization, consumerism, and the sexual revolution. For better or worse, Christians must learn to be a minority. There’s no better time than now to recall Karl Barth’s admonition: “The church must always be reformed.” What is the reformed church we need now?

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther famously affixed his Ninety-Five Theses to a Wittenberg church door in a brazen challenge to the authority of the pope in Rome. His action ended up sparking a religious conflict that would plunge the continent into a century of war between Catholics and Protestants. Out of the bloodshed, so runs the story, modernity was born.

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