[The Christian Post] 6 Oct 2008--Last week I demonstrated how secular humanism as a worldview fails because it doesn’t deal with reality. This manifested failure has ushered in the postmodern era, in which Westerners, having lost confidence in the secular story of the world, are floundering. Cynicism and relativism have followed (and often hopelessness), resulting in a careless approach to life’s great questions.
Unfortunately, in the wake of this void comes Islam, which secularism can neither persuade nor resist. The predominant representation of the (reductionist) gospel we now see in the West is, I would argue, similarly ineffective. Through neglect, cultural accommodation, and historical indifference, the Christian faith in the West has been largely reduced to a few doctrines of self-interest. As the late Robert Webber so aptly points out:
The Christian faith was reduced to the problem of my sin, the work of Christ for me, the necessity of my conversion and the expectation of my faithfulness to live like a Christian. I was made the center of the story. I needed to invite Jesus into my life and my journey so he could walk with me and bless my life and my ministry (Robert E. Webber, Who Gets to Narrate the World? [Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008], 25).
This in no way diminishes the personal nature of faith in Christ, nor one’s personal experience. However, the gospel story as delivered by the apostles is not centered on me as much as it is on God and His purposes in creation, humanity, and history. The gospel story encompasses creation, the fall, redemption, and re-creation, thus explaining where we’ve come from, why there is death and suffering, and what God, in His sovereignty and mercy, is doing to remedy this condition and restore His creation.