from Kent Brower:
The gains in human rights, globalization, the advance of technology, and the triumph of free market economics coincide with a cultural shift in WLDs [Western Liberal Democracies]. The optimism of the recent past is now considered naïve. The capacity of "science" and technology to fix things is questioned. The explanatory power of the grand narrative of human progress has all but collapsed. In its place has come a resistance to any grand narrative.
The end of a grand narrative is, however, a loss. People fear social change and search for identity, meaning, and security. Heretofore dominant societies are under threat as power is eroded through the impact of globalization and migration. Socially constructed assumptions about shared history and shared experience no longer convince. In these circumstances, boundaries become more prominent and social cohesion is diminished. Visible minorities in particular are "othered." They then choose an identity that isolates them even further. People search for justice and peace, but see only the projection of power. They hear the cries of the hungry, powerless, and abused, but cover their ears and spend vast sums on building gated communities and securing borders.
Into this vacuum religious answers are reemerging in unimaginable ways. Can the grand narrative of the gospel still speak in this context? And does God still call a holy people to be on God's mission, in God’s world? I believe the answer is yes. But we have some work to do. Perhaps the place to start is to revisit Scripture and from that basis, ask how we should live.
The entire post can be read here.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)