If you haven’t read this article yet and you’re at all interested in Christianity in culture, please read this great editorial by Ross Douthat.
I fear that many liberal Christians have tucked tail at worst, and at best (and what I think it most correct) in the last generation miscommunicated the ultimate point of why they are bent on Social Justice – that this is God’s world, and that he desires shalom. Yet we’ve been caught in political causes du jour without an ultimate point. And as a result, I think it causes significant atrophy.
Why do we care about gay marriage? Why do we care about environmentalism? Why do we care about feeding the poor? If we can’t answer those questions both personally and corporately, we have bought into a shallow and stagnant theology that will not satisfy our world nor us. We’ve ultimately become a world of zombie Christians where we don’t think but just do. That lack of intellectual insight (half because all of the sudden religion is “deeply-personal-and-emotional-and-I-don’t-need-to-read-just-feel-when-really-I-don’t-get-this-stuff-and-I’d-rather-be-lazy-than-understand” and half because there are very few modern Christian leaders who challenge people to the contrary) is what will make us irrelevant.
Frankly, I think Christians are just the canary in the coal mine, and that society at large doesn’t think anymore. But it’s far easier to point out a group you don’t affiliate with than to point the finger square at your own folks.