I recently heard Timothy Keller make the argument that people today are rapidly congealing into two camps when it comes to religion: Those radically engaged and those radically opposed.

For much of the 20th century, the vast majority of people who followed a religion of some kind were moderate followers. They went to worship, adhered to the basic tenets of their faith, and went about their business. If Keller is right, and I think he may very well be, the 21st century will see that group of people almost completely replaced by a group of people whose religion absolutely permeates their life and a group of people who are radically opposed to religion altogether.

The Muslim world seems to be ahead of the game in this shift. It is becoming increasingly impossible for secular Muslims to exist. They're being forced to either embrace the complete package of their belief system or leave it altogether.

We're certainly seeing a rise in people who are radically opposed to religion altogether. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett are radically opposed to religion altogether and would love to have others join their group.

Meanwhile, Christians will be forced to either put up or shut up; to get serious about their faith or abandon it altogether. And although that sounds scary, I think it could be one of the best things to happen to evangelical Christianity.


Malcolm said...

Hi Chris,

Glad vacation went well. Do you have a link to the Keller comments you reference?



Chris Freeland said...

I have heard him mention it in a couple of places, but he alludes the point in the Introduction of "The Reason for God."

"We have come to a cultural moment in which both skeptics and believers feel their existence is threatened because both secular skepticism and religious faith are on the rise in significant, powerful ways."