2007-02-08 The Brief

Jesus in the Morning, Voodoo in the Evening
This is a short informatory article on the blending of Christianity or Islam with voodoo in Africa. This paradox is one that I have witnessed during oversees travel.

Islam and the West
This lengthy article looks at the political and ideological interaction between the West, the Middle East, Islam, and Christianity. What I found particularly interesting has little to do with the article. In the 6th paragraph the writer makes this comment: “Yet, given the current European propensity for viewing reason as a Christian legacy and themselves as sole heirs to the Enlightenment, it ill befits Europe’s residents to cast reason aside whenever their relationship with Islam and Muslims is at issue.” Most American “Christians” view Europe as a secularized and pagan society, but flowing out of the natural religion of liberal theology Europe, or at least this writer, views itself in line with a “Christian” tradition. While America lies in the Fundamentalist tradition, Europe lies in the Liberal tradition. This provides a vivid example that should serve as a word of caution toward over contextualization. While many would consider the rise of natural theology and emphasis on reason as a secular development, it was not. At its heart, it was a religious development. With the rise of modernity individuals sought to develop a “Christian” theology that had meaning and relevance within this newly emerging cultural context and what resulted was distinctly not Christian, namely philosophical naturalism. I frequently mention contextualization and this serves to illustrate the immanent danger that faces us all.

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