The Gospel Coalition has just released its first independently published book, Our Secular Age – a look back at Charles Taylor’s volume ten years after its publication. An excerpt from Collin Hansen’s pastorally sensitive introduction runs on TGC today. The focus is hope in our secular age. I love how the book trailer turns the challenge of modernity on its head using Romans 5:4.
Carl Trueman’s chapter, focused on getting the history of religion and modernity right, is also particularly good.
I contributed a chapter, focused on the challenge of religious freedom and secularity:
Without a common god, we lack a common good. That is the first challenge. It is hard to find shared moral ground upon which to build a way of living in peace with each other. This is why worldliness and strife are increasing in our communities.
But there is a second and deeper challenge. Religious freedom brings with it a different way of experiencing religion itself. It destabilizes all religious positions, including not only fidelity to this or that religion but even belief and unbelief simply as such. It is harder now to be a really committed Christian, or even a really committed theist; it is also, in a different way, harder to be a really committed atheist. Our chaotic cultural environment undermines the sources of moral character and intellectual confidence. The only thing that has become easier (at least in the short term) is therapeutic deism and being “spiritual but not religious”—passively surrendering to each spiritual mood as it happens along.
But you should read the book anyway. In this age of freedom, I freely welcome your free speech in response!