Have Our Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors? — Children today are being raised much differently than their parents and grandparents were raised, and are becoming part of a “sedentary society” that spends more time indoors engaging with electronic devices.
Louv argues that this represents nothing less than a sudden shift in the way Americans live, raise their children, and engage the natural world. “Within the space of a few decades, the way children understand and experience nature has changed radically. The polarity of the relationship has reversed. Today, kids are aware of the global threats to the environment–but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading. That’s exactly the opposite of how it was when I was a child.”
Can Liberal Christianity Survive? — Ross Douthat’s weekend column has been generating a lot of buzz. In it, he comments on the decline of mainline denominations, and on how the liberal willingness to “downplay theology in favor of secular political causes” is making their churches increasingly irrelevant… something conservative Christians need to guard against as well.
But if liberals need to come to terms with these failures, religious conservatives should not be smug about them. The defining idea of liberal Christianity — that faith should spur social reform as well as personal conversion — has been an immensely positive force in our national life. No one should wish for its extinction, or for a world where Christianity becomes the exclusive property of the political right.
Can Liberal Churches Save Christianity? — This response to Douthat’s article claims that his ideas are neither original nor accurate, and suggests that liberal churches merely experienced a decline sooner than “their conservative kin”. The author sees a quiet renewal taking place in liberal congregations, and believes that these churches will lead an “awakening of a more open, more inclusive, more spiritually vital faith” that will define contemporary Christianity in the 21st century.
We Need Rescue, Not Just Advice — This is the latest post in an ongoing blog series based on J.Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism (my review), which is still the best resource available for understanding the differences between liberal theology and orthodox Christianity, though it was written 90 years ago. You can access the entire Resurgence blog series here for a good summary and contemporary application.