In a couple of recent surveys of American religion some not so radical conclusions were drawn. Wow, Americans like to come up with their own religious ideas! Some Christian people in America have internalized social individualism into their personal theology. I am not sure how surprising this is or exactly how recent this is. It seems to me only naive ministers think their congregation is towing their version of orthodoxy. But none the less, this article does seem to assume some beliefs are not orthodox that have a place in may orthodox theologians thought (at least in my understanding of the history of Christian theology).
You are not a heretic and individualistic American Christian forsaking your faith just because you think…
– ‘Some non-Christians go to heaven’
– Other faith traditions can contribute to one’s own understanding in redemptive ways
– Satan doesn’t exist
– You broadly reject religious exclusivity
Then there are questions that assume a common understanding of words and concepts that have hugely diverse meanings. I bet if you asked people to define them you would get more heresy to report…
– ‘eternal life’
– ‘route to salvation’
This is just one more reason we need to have a grass roots level theology conversation. What people are responding to and rejecting is out of date and well in many cases shallow versions of beautiful statements from the past. It is time for theology to actually assist people in living a gracefilled life in their world. Our theology needs to evolve and transform. A good survey of Church History will point out that it always has been reforming, but now we need to let the ‘theologians-in-residents’ in on the conversation. Then maybe people won’t feel obligated to ask such stupid questions for religion surveys.
Drew diagnosies the causes for this theological confusion well.