The Contemporary scene
The previous three classes have examined over a millennium of Christian life and thought. Anglican life and practice, although also shaped by the English Reformation of the 16th Century, appropriates most of the life, liturgy, and doctrine that it inherited from the “mere Christianity” of this earlier era.
We live in a very different world today than that of ancient Greece and Rome, or the medieval era, or even the 16thCentury. Our world has been transformed by the science and technology that fueled the industrial revolution and continues to drive change at an ever-increasing pace today.
The modern mind also has come to very different fundamental ways of looking at and understanding the world than the pre-modern mind. We are all affected by living in the “immanent frame” of secular modernity, where God recedes from the public sphere into the hidden domain of private subjective belief. Yet the Scriptures and the Church Fathers proclaimed a cosmological significance to Christ, through Whom all things were created and have their being. All of life, all of society, were called to come under the good ordering of the God’s Economy of Salvation, where grace was breaking into the order of this present world, the saeculum, to free people from bondage to their sinful ways in the City of Man so they might reorder their loves and desires rightly in “City of God,” in the light of Christ.
Christians are still called to inhabit the saeculum today with confidence in the truth and power of the Good News of Jesus Christ to transform the secular order. This has not changed. The deep pre-modern rationality of the Church Fathers can inform a sane post-modern rationality that does not separate head and heart, faith and reason, science and faith, public and private. Transformation of the saeculum is only possible through the transformed lives of individuals who are drawn to the truth and beauty and goodness in the story of Jesus, the Logos-made-flesh, Who reveals the face of our Creator God to the world, offering meaning and hope to all living in the saeculum.
Can modern people come again to see the glory of God in the world? Can they see the shallowness of the secular Immanent Frame? This final class will look at some powerful voices, especially Anglican ones, that help in moving in this direction. Can we come again to read the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature together in mutual harmony?
The Sections of this class on each of the different 6 pages are:
- The contemporary scene
- What does an icon show?
- Does the natural world show any indication of God?
- Logos or mythos?
- A tale of two pictures
- Some other voices
- Poetic vision
[Use the page numbers at the bottom to navigate back and forth between pages for this class. Use this link to return to the Introduction page for all 4 classes.]