The right wing sociologist Charles Murray says we’re coming apart. His left wing counterpart, Bill Putnam, has spoken of a loss of social capital. And now as rural America and, increasingly, American cities are carried away by drug addiction, our scholars are talking about deaths of despair.
What all these scholars are observing is the decaying of American communal life and the consequent crisis which extends from this decay. In the world of media and politics, many are recognizing this decay and trying to take steps to address it through starting new media outlets, organizing activists for collective action, or a bit of both.
Moment - Christians - Understanding - Life - Sort
This is similarly a moment when Christians can come together to not only revitalize our intellectual understanding of communal life, but also to engage in our own sort of activism to restore the foundations of membership in the many smaller communities that make up our republic. Certainly this will include a reinvigorated interest in questions of political theology, common life, and church membership, all projects which are well underway within the American church.
However, Scripture teaches us that words and even actions that are disengaged from the heart are empty and will not ultimately produce the transformation we wish to see. Alongside the intellectual spadework to be done is a renewal of piety and the practices that promote spiritual formation in the lives of individual Christians. We cannot give to others what we do not possess ourselves. If we are to bless our fellow Christians with a richer life in the spirit, we must possess such a life ourselves. And if our churches are to offer thicker forms of community to the surrounding community, they must possess such community themselves.
Toward - End - Household - Worship - Project
Toward that end, we are launching the Household Worship Project. Co-sponsored by Mere Orthodoxy and Plough Publishing House, the Household...
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