07 March 2007

A Gripe with Liberalism

The other day the wife went to Whole Foods to do some grocery shopping. As we unloaded the bags I found two boxes of copy-cat cereals one of Cheerios and one of Rice Krispies. Here is a picture if you dont believe me.

Now I believe that these cereal boxes give credence to my general complaint with liberal Protestant Christianity: we are copy-cats and not indigenous producers right now. Take music for instance lots of congregations are using Taize and Iona produced music. I use them too, I find them quite useful but there is something inherently wrong with just using other forms of music for your own, why not create your own worship music. Or take contemporary/praise music some folk like the stuff and incorporated it into mainline worship, again why not create our own music that is not cheap, plastic or expressive of our own particular religious tradition. Now lets go onto Study aids. In Europe and the states many conservativeesque churches use the Alpha series as a teaching tool. Many mainline churches simply started using it too, but some folks took the same idea and copy-catted it and called it Living the Questions.

Going back to Schleiermacher liberal religion primarily was birthed out of a reaction to a more conservative context. Will we always be trapped to that paradigm? Is there a way out so that we can build on our foundations and create a vibrant religious movement that does not simply copycat but produces indigenous, thoughtful and meaningful aides for worship, spirituality and intellectual growth? Just some thoughts that are swirling on a Wednesday morning.


Ronster the monster said...

I've always thought my evangelical heritage was a reaction to liberalism. We didn't do anything original or creative, only reactionary.

theobilly said...

Indeed Mr. Monster,

I think that liberalism was born out of the tangle of a reactionary heritage but it produced some wonderful and creative and beautiful ways of its own (see Gary Dorrien's three volumes on just this idea). Of late it seems like the liberal evangelical wing has fallen back into a copycat/reaction mode rather than returning to its creative and potential center.