More on Andrew Sullivan’s “Christianity in Crisis”

Check here if you have not seen the piece Andrew Sullivan wrote which is running as the feature story for Newsweek’s cover “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus” this week.

I, of course, support Andrew’s fundamental exhortation as evidenced primarily by the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.  (If you decide to check it out, be sure to see its Introduction-Overview.)  This does not mean that I subscribe to every detail of Andrew’s essay.  After all, anyone who offers as one of his two examples of Christ-followers a politician (Thomas Jefferson) while decrying involvement in politics is obviously a little confused.  Consider this quote from Andrew:

What is politics if not a dangerous temptation toward controlling others rather than reforming oneself?

Is Jefferson thus a bad or good example of following Christ?  Yet Andrew can be forgiven for giving a confused answer to the question he raises.  He actually doesn’t claim to know the full answer.  His job is to shout that there is a problem, and he does that well:

The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word “secular.” It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism.

Andrew demonstrates that for all the “knowledge” attained by modern man, we still can’t answer the most fundamental questions of our existence:

The thirst for God is still there. How could it not be, when the profoundest human questions—Why does the universe exist rather than nothing? How did humanity come to be on this remote blue speck of a planet? What happens to us after death?—remain as pressing and mysterious as they’ve always been?

And, as I said, Andrew doesn’t claim to know the answer:

I have no concrete idea how Christianity will wrestle free of its current crisis, of its distractions and temptations, and above all its enmeshment with the things of this world.

But then he does offer more of an answer than he realizes.  It’s at least the beginning of an answer and that’s more than many others are offering.  Here it is:

In the anxious, crammed lives of our modern twittering souls, in the materialist obsessions we cling to for security in recession, in a world where sectarian extremism threatens to unleash mass destruction, this sheer Christianity, seeking truth without the expectation of resolution, simply living each day doing what we can to fulfill God’s will, is more vital than ever.

Amen!  Andrew goes on:

It may, in fact, be the only spiritual transformation that can in the end transcend the nagging emptiness of our late-capitalist lives, or the cult of distracting contemporaneity, or the threat of apocalyptic war where Jesus once walked.

You see, deep down, Andrew gets it.  This is because, deep down, we all get it.  Andrew spells it out:

Something inside is telling us we need radical spiritual change.

The question is, will we act on these righteous whisperings or will we continue to walk in our headstrong ways?

Here’s hoping we will Repent, and follow Jesus.  Let Christianity remain in crisis.  Let us follow Jesus.

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