Calvin College philosopher James KA Smith shared at a recent panel that a “secular age” in America presents many opportunities for Christianity, but it will require a shift in mindset. A secular age has a plurality of beliefs, and each belief system holds contested ideas. Doubt will be an ongoing part of Christian faith in the secular world, but belief will also be a challenge that those without faith must face.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Smith suggests that doubt is going to become the norm in a secular world. Are you prepared to talk about the challenges of doubt while holding to your faith?
- Are you ready for tension? Smith suggests that there will be competing cross-pressures for belief and doubt that will take place simultaneously, leading to competing belief systems. Have you seen this in your relationships?
- Are you ready for complicated beliefs? People aren’t necessarily against religious belief. Rather, they are mixing belief systems and experimenting more freely than any time in recent memory.
- How can we ask better questions? If people are experimenting, doubting, and mixing, can we help them explore Christianity and make our faith more compelling for them?
How do these trends impact the ways we share the Gospel and preach?
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