Do yourself a favor by reading this article by op-ed columnist David Brooks, the political conservative who writes for the New York Times.
While Brooks does not explicitly favor conservative Christianity in this piece, it certainly fits the description of what he favors. It is encouraging that someone as smart and plugged-in as Brooks has not fallen for the religious nonsense that is so common in America today. He says:
Vague, uplifting, nondoctrinal religiosity doesn’t actually last. The religions that grow, succor and motivate people to perform heroic acts of service are usually theologically rigorous, arduous in practice and definite in their convictions about what is True and False.
That makes me think of my home church, Christ Fellowship in McKinney, Texas, that is trying to encourage its people to live for Christ in ways that actually require sacrifice. In addition, Christ Fellowship takes a strong stand on historic Christian distinctives that run counter to contemporary, suburban values. I am not saying that we are an ideal church, but it is encouraging to be part of a church that is swimming against the cultural stream.
Brooks also rightly states:
Rigorous theology also allows believers to examine the world intellectually as well as emotionally. . . . Rigorous theology helps people avoid mindless conformity. Without timeless rules, we all have a tendency to be swept up in the temper of the moment.
I don’t know if Brooks is a Christian, but what he is saying is a helpful counter to the “no-sharp-edges view of religion” that is commonly pushed in American media of all types.
Copyright © 2011 by Barry Applewhite. All rights reserved worldwide.