Last Week, Today: 21st-century Christianity?

The theme for last week's top posts on faith & society: What should Christianity look like in the 21st century here in America? 

Jake Meador argues that those who think the Christianity can regain credibility through "re-branding" are mistaken. It is our beliefs, and not our branding, that at issue, he says in "Evangelicals and the Search for Credibility" over at Mere Orthodoxy.

So then, how should we live out our faith in today's society? Rod Dreher, over at The American Conservative, has put out a call for a "Benedict Option" in which we dig deep to create "the conditions and habits necessary for our faith to live on in an anti-Christian society in which the dominant culture is so overpowering."

If Christian culture is to be renewed, habits are more vital than revivals, rituals more edifying than spiritual highs, the creed more penetrating than theological insight, and the celebration of saints’ days more uplifting than the observance of Mother’s Day.

 In "Fundamentalism vs the Benedict Option," Rod Dreher tries to explain how the "benedict option" is not a fundamentalistic withdrawal from culture, but something different altogether. 

Along these same lines, Ross Douthat asks what would happen if Christians channeled their extraordinary overseas charity work towards domestic problems? What if America became the new missionary grounds?

Theory aside, here is a real-life, ongoing case-study: the Boy Scouts. Its current president, Robert Gates, has laid out his case for why the Scouts should change its current ban on gay, adult leaders given the changing social, moral and legal landscape. "The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," he said, proposing a policy that "accepts and respects our different religious perspectives and beliefs." What Gates fears is that as states pass laws against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and the courts start ruling on employment-discrimination cases, the Scouts could end up "with a board ruling that could forbid any kind of membership standard, including our foundational belief in our duty to God and our focus on serving the specific needs of boys. Waiting for the courts is a gamble with huge stakes."

Note: We have updated the recent blogpost on what Tim Keller and an Los Angeles LGBT center  have in common. The study which the blogpost was based on has turned out to be, most likely, fraudulent. 


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Sarah Ngu (@sarahngu) is a freelance writer and an alumni of Trinity Forum Academy and Columbia University. Based in New York, she blogs on faith and culture, and produces thought leadership for businesses.