25 September 2013

Crystal Cathedral Postscript

I regularly repent of posting yet again about the Crystal Cathedral but just as regularly fall off the wagon. (Most recently here.) But this fine piece by Timothy George here is worth the read. George's is a balanced account of the rise and fall of the ministry of Robert Schuller. George is particularly good when it comes to placing Schuller's designs for ministry in the context of what Christian Smith calls "moral, therapeutic deism" (check here, here and here for amplification of the MTD concept in American Evangelicalism). Indeed, as George suggests (but doesn't come right out and say), the approach of of folks like Robert Schuller to what he called "pre-evangelism" is part and parcel of what Charles Taylor described at length in his book, A Secular Age (sample here and here).

In other words, much of American Evangelicalism since the early 19th century been part and parcel of the secularization of the Western world. More often the egg than the chicken, Evangelicalism's approbation of the individual at the expense of the Church, feeling good instead of recognizing sin, and wanting to part of the vanguard and not the remnant has culminated in the schlock that passes over much of the airwaves (and cable) today.

But don't take my word for it, read George's less dyspeptic account.

No comments:

Post a Comment