Neibuhr on Easygoing Christianity: non-Catholic variety


#1

Some 40+ years ago, the theologian H. Richard Neibuhr wrote what he called the Creed of the mainstream * American Christian:

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

What are your thoughts on his statement? Do you believe this to be a fair representation of non-denominational Christianity? Or do you think there are those in the Church who ascribe to Neibuhr’s view?*


#2

#3

Thanks Edwin for the clarification.

Robert


#4

He did say some very interesting things about denominations being (I am woefully paraphrasing and I promise to find the exact quotation) representations of religion to the caste system.

He (to me) was more of my style than his brother’s liberalism.

As to your “megachurch” comment: it’s interesting that many of them (in our neck of the woods at least) are called “worship centers.”

I guess this is to differentiate them from “sports centers” and “entertainment centers.”

Oh well, I am grateful to be Catholic and I am truly thankful for my backward thinking, stubborn against popular culture and mystery ladened, Spirit filled, Eucharist housed Church!

Robert


#5

#6

Atemi;

what exactly is “goat christianity?”

And isn’t it interesting how so many ministers speak of ‘issues’ instead of ‘sins?’

Robert


#7

Exactly what you posted:

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

And isn’t it interesting how so many ministers speak of ‘issues’ instead of ‘sins?’

Yes.

I have heard many a priest speak like this too.

I guess we all need to get back to basics.


#8

You’re correct. Regardless of tradition, many ministers, rabbis and priests speak like Dr Phil and Oprah and Faith Popcorn on matters religious.

Is it the creeping culturalization of Christianity? When there is no yardstick to keep the faithful on track, everyone talks to an angel and gets gold tablets (or a personal vision or avatar or ‘spirit guide’ or ‘gospel of wealth’ message).

We Catholics (well, those of us who like the ‘reminders’ of our faith: the sacramentals, the incense, the votive candles, the novenas, the Stations of the Cross) have many ways to incorporate the Gospel message into the rhythms of our daily lives.

Neibuhr was quite a bit ahead of his time in noticing how mainstream Protestantism was veering towards the clubbiness and social caste havens of the middle class.

I guess this is why Pentacostalism and Evangelicalism have been so successful in our society.

Robert


#9

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