Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Post-Christian Era?

It was more than 50 years ago that German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that 'God is dead'. It is an idea that characterised much of secular society in the 20th century though perhaps it hasn't quite taken the hold that many may have feared.

At the same time, one would be foolish to think that attitudes to God and Christianity haven't changed substantially in the last century. One of the statements which seems to have become very popular is something like "I'm a very spiritual person, but I'm not religious at all". Organised religion has struggled to come to terms with a post-modern tendency for people to listen to a variety of opinions and synthesise their own belief systems.

Lately, an increasing number of people seem to find that the title 'Christian' has unwelcome associations. (Perhaps the Ned Flanders imagery reflects more of the popular imagination than we would like to think.) Last year I heard someone say "Jesus wasn't a Christian, Paul wasn't a Christian - why should I be one?" Technically, they are probably right but I wonder if that's the point? I have no problem with being a 'follower of Jesus', which is apparently a bit cooler, but I'm not yet sure if that means I'm leaving something important behind...

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