Losing the Plot
School has started and I have not found out a way yet to balance the demands with a regular posting schedule. I am hoping to get myself into some routine because I value this site and its readership.
I've been hired as the director of a mainline campus ministry and I've been hired as an adjunct at a university 90 miles away to teach philosophy. And also been doing some side projects such as a progressive christian radio show and some reading.
I've been recently reading The Beloved Community; How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today. And in that work the question is raised; what happens when the religious moorings of such movements are lost.
A lot of energy has been spent on analyzing how the religious right became successful but how did the mainline fail to address this with something more compelling? I have a hunch it relates to how too often the mainline has lost its own religious moorings.
Some of this has been sparked by the way a number of liberal protestant ministries have ceased to see themselves as providing a religious ministry and instead see themselves solely in terms of social change and a certain left politics.
Some of it is an ignoring of the particulars of Christianity to some broad based social, ethical, and political ideals that are divorced from the religion. And so we get things like the YMCA, a group that no longer pretends to be an ecumenical protestant ministry.
Somewhere in there hangs a tale, which has lessons for how the mainline lost and might regain the means to provide a compelling religious home for folks. Addressing this issue will need to be even more central than simply going after the religious right.