Over the past month, I’ve been reading two books by a Scottish theologian entitled “The McDonaldization of the Church” and “After McDonaldization.” He theorizes that the reason the church in the Western part of the world is declining is two-fold:
- Our ways of being church at the start of the 21st century are virtually unchanged from the 18th century
- Quite simply, we have a secular church in a spiritual society
The church so wholeheartedly worked to defend itself against the Enlightenment, modern thought, and other rational arguments, it is having trouble adapting to a world that is again open to spiritual thoughts, ideas, and insights. One only needs to scan media to see the popularity of spirituality from Twilight to Supernatural to Smallvile to Ghosthunters.
So our challenge is to not to jettison all rational thought but to hold together the best of rational theology over the past centuries AND the mysterious, spiritual, supernatural elements of Christianity. Some Christians and theologians over the years have tried to “demytholigize” Christianity, to take out all of the myth and supernatural elements that rational people find unreasonable and unpalatable. Instead, the challenge is now to “remythologize” the faith, to bring mystery back.
It seems unbelievable that the infinite God would become a man to walk the earth to teach us how to live. It seems ridiculous that this man can be brought back to life after a gruesome death. It feels odd to talk about miraculous things happening in the world of 21st century science and technology.
It may be odd but it is the way our reality works.