Mysteries of faith
Stephen McGinty (Perspective, 15 December) is right: the central core of the Christian faith is unique – God incarnate on Earth in human form.
But, unfortunately, he seems to have fallen prey to a pervasive myth of our secular age. He feels that scientific advances have left few questions to which God can be the answer. However, many of the focuses of Christian doctrine are beyond scientific analysis: the soul/consciousness; free will; moral objectivity; the ultimate origin of the universe; the fine-tuning of the universe for life; beauty, love, mercy and justice. Can Mr McGinty fill in the missing steps in his chain of reasoning that starts with experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider and ends with the non-existence of Heaven?
Like many non-Christians, Mr McGinty exhorts the Church to conform to society’s standards to attract worshippers. There are several churches that do just that, churches where the gospel of Jesus Christ has long since been replaced by an inoffensive, vague, lukewarm moralism.
The question must be, therefore, why doesn’t he go to one of them? Why do statistics repeatedly show that liberal churches and denominations tend to decline, while those holding to historic Christian truth flourish?
Much of what Stephen McGinty says is valid: there is a world of a difference between institutionalised Christendom and committed Christian individuals.
Previous generations have claimed Christianity as their stance, but for many this meant no commitment to Christ or his ways at all.
People are now being more honest, and “Christian” is once again beginning to mean a person who has a faith in, and a commitment to, Christ, resulting in a changed lifestyle. In modern parlance, it is now an active opt-in and not a passive adherence with no real meaning.
If Christianity is true, then it is the most amazing news the world ever had: that God became a baby and he came to rescue broken people and a broken, sad world, offering a revolutionary quality of life – and a future filled with hope, for everyone who asks.
That is the original message of Christmas … one that has been hidden and distorted, sometimes, sadly, by those who have called themselves Christian.
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