The Call To Worship

The freedom of religion is not primarily concerned with private devotion but rather that of public worship. It is a display of the freedom of conscience which, if removed to merely the privacy of silence, becomes a privation of faith which results in a practical, if not literal, atheism. (more…)

To The Disenchanted

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The reduction of Christianity to a mere belief, to simple immanence, barren of the transcendent, leaves christians of any people or nation easy prey to the carnivorous nature of political ideology. And this disenchantment of creation also fundamentally changes the way in which christians conceive of and pray to, God himself. The supplication, adoration and worship that are the elements of prayer are cast off and replaced by a conversation. A conversation with, because of the loss of transcendence, a deity that is always near, always immanent. So near, in fact, so as to be indistinguishable from oneself; prayer does, in fact, become just a conversation with a voice in your head. (more…)

The Clock Doesn’t Stop On Ideas

Ours is a secular age. While the conditions of secularity — the nonaxiomatic nature of belief in God, the contestability of all ultimate beliefs — are not unrelated to the prescriptive project of secularism, there is no necessary connection between the two. A secular society could undergo religious revival where vast swaths of the populace embrace religious belief. But that could never turn back the clock on secularization; we would always know we used to believe something else, that there are plausible visions of meaning and significance on offer. We would also believe amidst the secular condition; indeed, conversion is a response to secularity, not an escape from it.

— “How (Not) To Be Secular” ~ James K. A. Smith