Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The secularization of Christianity

One blog I enjoy reading is the community blog over at Reformation 21. Recently a conversation has begun on the similarity between Osteen's self-esteem gospel and Anthony Robbins' secular self-help therapy. But, before Christians are too quick to point fingers, Carl Trueman offers an insightful warning:
the challenge for confessional evangelicals, of course, is to see how we too are often complicit in this secularisation of Christianity. Sure, we can take shots at Osteen and company for selling shallow self-help in the language of the gospel; but how much real difference does our commitment to the real gospel make in practical terms to the way we live our own lives? Do we really have our horizons of expectation set by the psalmist's cries, by Hannah's prayer, by Christ in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, on the cross? Or do our real aspirations draw their life from the commercials on TV, the pampered freaks who parade each night on Access Hollywood, or even (say it ain't so!) the slick efficiency of our `ministries' and the smooth superstars of the evangelical conference circuit? After all, it isn't just the Osteens of this world who grow sleak and wealthy and powerful on claiming to preach the word of God. The sin of the secular mind always stands ready to steal our hearts and minds, especially when and where we least expect it.
Read the rest of the post here.

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