A resilient Christianity

In fact, the United States has gone through many periods in which religious enthusiasm and affiliation waned, only to be renewed in subsequent revivals. Christianity is a rather durable faith. Many believers would ascribe this to the power of its truth claims, but its resilience also speaks to the adaptability of its core message…

The theologian H. Richard Niebuhr offered the classic criticism of a feel-good brand of American religion that presented no challenges and posed no problems. He said that it peddled the idea that “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

Niebuhr was critiquing certain varieties of liberal Christianity, but his scolding applies to all Christians too eager to conform their faith to the political and cultural whims of the moment. Grace is never cheap, and a Christianity that is struggling with itself is on the path of rediscovering its true calling.