Saturday, November 04, 2006

paragraph: john macquarrie

With the decline of myth as an intelligible form of discourse, religious faith too has tended to decline and Christianity has become less and less intelligible. On an ability to reformulate the insights of biblical faith in an intelligible, non-mythical way that will nonetheless avoid the reductionist error of van Buren and others, may well depend the question of whether our Western culture will continue to hold to its Christian heritage in any lively way, or whether it will turn increasingly in the direction of a pure secularism. I certainly think that the latter course would bring about a severe impoverishment of personal life.

God Talk: An Examination of the Language and Logic of Theology, 180-181.


Ed Baird said...

I've read that pargraph about 10 times, and each time I feel like I am further away from understanding it. Has myth been an "intelligible form of discourse" since the Enlightenment? The second sentence may be tautological.

Is he saying that the ability to preach the gospel in an intelligble way depends on the language that the culture has at hand to understand spiritual life? I don't know if I agree. Isn't the very improverishment of personal life he fears an opportunity for Christianity?

How's that for a little arm chair theorizing from someone who has not read the book?

Ed Baird said...

After several more readings, I understood and agree with him. He's saying that for Christianity to retain vitality in our culture, we need to come up with new ways to express the gospel that are understandable to people who don't use myths to understand the world around them.