The Way of the (Modern) World: Or, Why Its Tempting to Live As If God Doesnt Exist

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Please try again later. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase. This is a remarkable book. It provides a clear re-framing of some of the key issues that divide and, unfortunately, at times define the contemporary church. Instead of arguing left vs. The modern view, he contends, is that we live as if God does not matter. This is a refreshing perspective that unfortunately rings true. It has the potential to bring together those previously divided by a contemporary false dichotomy of what it means to be the church.

Format: Paperback. This is one of the best and most insightful and dare I say important? It's clarity, depth of insight and profundity have few equals in contemporary scholarship. Gay's basic premise is that the forces that shape the modern world are not those things we see on the surface, but those hidden assumptions that permeate our understanding of ourselves and our world via modern politics, science and technology, economics, and psychology. Gay argues that these areas are often permeated with subtle "worldly" assumptions which drive our culture in a secular direction and make belief in God seem irrelevant or unrealistic.

Not that Gay is against these areas of modern life per se, either. He simply wishes to make his readers aware of the danger in the assumptions that often lie beneath the surface of these areas that can influence us to "live as if God doesn't exist," even if we are professing Christians. The book is extremely well researched and documented, and Gay spends a great deal of time, in each section of the book, setting up the historical factors that contributed to the rise of these worldly assumptions.

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In each chapter he also talks about the historical relationship between the Christian church and these different facets of modern life and how Protestant Christianity Gay is a Protestant Christian is, ironically, partly responsible for the rise of modern secularity. He concludes the book by offering some helpful reflections on how Christians should think and act in the secularized modern world. Even though this book is a first rate work of scholarship, it is very lucidly written, and any intelligent and interested person should be able to follow the basic gist of Gay's argument.

This has my highest recomendation. Gay does an excellent job summarizing the major problems of worldliness and modernity.

How a Dice can show that God exists

He indicates that the issues of modernity involve "control". Science, socio-political issues, technology, and anthropocentrism are about control. This has created a consumer and self-absorbed culture which seeks to control the outcomes of their life, environment, and religious views.

And advances in modern technology, from computers to smartphones, have yielded tremendous benefits. But do these developments actually encourage human flourishing? Craig Gay raises concerns about the theological implications of modern technologies and of philosophical movements such as transhumanism. In response, he turns to a classical affirmation of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, took on human flesh. By exploring the doctrine of the incarnation and what it means for our embodiment, Gay offers a course correction to the path of modern technology without asking us to unplug completely.

Gay demonstrates that the doctrine of the incarnation is not neutral either. It presents an alternative vision for the future of humanity. Technology and Jesus—and therefore technology and humanity—are inseparable and delicately linked. Technology, like the human body itself, is a good servant but a bad master.

Craig Gay has written a learned and lucid reflection on how it can both help and hinder human flourishing. Craig Gay in this volume makes an invaluable and essential contribution, helping his readers think critically and more clearly about aspects of our daily experience that we all too easily take for granted. And part of the strength of this contribution is that Gay insists we need to think theologically about technology—that is, to view technology and respond to technology in light of the Triune God and a biblical understanding of what it means to be the church.

And, of course, to then respond to the challenge of our day in a way that is intentional, discerning, and hopeful. We cannot give life to others without giving up our own lives.

Cardinal Ratzinger on the New Evangelization

The process of expropriation indicated above is the concrete form expressed in many different ways of giving one's life. And let us think about the words of the Savior: "Whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it" Mark The contents essential for new evangelization 1. Conversion As for the contents of new evangelization, first of all we must keep in mind the inseparability of the Old and the New Testaments. The Greek word for converting means: to rethink—to question one's own and common way of living; to allow God to enter into the criteria of one's life; to not merely judge according to the current opinions.

Thereby, to convert means: not to live as all the others live, not do what all do, not feel justified in dubious, ambiguous, evil actions just because others do the same; begin to see one's life through the eyes of God; thereby looking for the good, even if uncomfortable; not aiming at the judgment of the majority, of men, but on the justice of God—in other words: to look for a new style of life, a new life.

All of this does not imply moralism; reducing Christianity to morality loses sight of the essence of Christ's message: the gift of a new friendship, the gift of communion with Jesus and thereby with God. Whoever converts to Christ does not mean to create his own moral autarchy for himself, does not intend to build his own goodness through his own strengths.

Unconverted life is self-justification I am not worse than the others ; conversion is humility in entrusting oneself to the love of the Other, a love that becomes the measure and the criteria of my own life. Here we must also bear in mind the social aspect of conversion. Certainly, conversion is above all a very personal act, it is personalization. I separate myself from the formula "to live as all others" I do not feel justified anymore by the fact that everyone does what I do and I find my own person in front of God, my own personal responsibility.

But true personalization is always also a new and more profound socialization. The "I" opens itself once again to the "you," in all its depths, and thus a new "We" is born. If the lifestyle spread throughout the world implies the danger of de-personalization, of not living one's own life but the life of all the others, in conversion a new "We," of the common path of God, must be achieved.

In proclaiming conversion we must also offer a community of life, a common space for the new style of life. We cannot evangelize with words alone; the Gospel creates life, creates communities of progress; a merely individual conversion has no consistency The Kingdom of God In the appeal to conversion the proclamation of the Living God is implicit—as its fundamental condition.

Theocentrism is fundamental in the message of Jesus and must also be at the heart of new evangelization. The keyword of the proclamation of Jesus is: the Kingdom of God. But the Kingdom of God is not a thing, a social or political structure, a utopia. The Kingdom of God is God. Kingdom of God means: God exists. God is alive.

God is present and acts in the world, in our—in my life. God is not a faraway "ultimate cause," God is not the "great architect" of deism, who created the machine of the world and is no longer part of it—on the contrary: God is the most present and decisive reality in each and every act of my life, in each and every moment of history. Metz said some unexpected things for him. In the past, Metz taught us anthropocentrism—the true occurrence of Christianity was the anthropological turning point, the secularization, the discovery of the secularity of the world.

Then he taught us political theology—the political characteristic of faith; then the "dangerous memory"; and finally narrative theology. After this long and difficult path, today he tells us: The true problem of our times is the "Crisis of God," the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity.

Theology must go back to being truly theo-logy, speaking about and with God. Metz is right: the unum necessarium to man is God.

The Way of the (Modern) World Quotes

Everything changes, whether God exists or not. Unfortunately—we Christians also often live as if God did not exist si Deus non daretur. We live according to the slogan: God does not exist, and if he exists, he does not belong. Therefore, evangelization must, first of all, speak about God, proclaim the only true God: the Creator—the Sanctifier—the Judge see Catechism of the Catholic Church.


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Here too we must keep the practical aspect in mind. God cannot be made known with words alone. One does not really know a person if one knows about this person secondhandedly. To proclaim God is to introduce to the relation with God: to teach how to pray. Prayer is faith in action. And only by experiencing life with God does the evidence of his existence appear.

This is why schools of prayer, communities of prayer, are so important. There is a complementarity between personal prayer "in one's room," alone in front of God's eyes , "para-liturgical" prayer in common "popular religiosity" and liturgical prayer. Yes, the liturgy is, first of all, prayer; its specificity consists in the fact that its primary project is not ourselves as in private prayer and in popular religiosity , but God himself—the liturgy is actio divina, God acts and we respond to this divine action.

Speaking about God and speaking with God must always go together. The proclamation of God is the guide to communion with God in fraternal communion, founded and vivified by Christ. This is why the liturgy the sacraments are not a secondary theme next to the preaching of the living God, but the realization of our relationship with God.

Key Features

While on this subject, may I be allowed to make a general observation on the liturgical question. Our way of celebrating the liturgy is very often too rationalistic. The liturgy becomes teaching, whose criteria is: making ourselves understood—often the consequence of this is making the mystery a banality, the prevalence of our words, the repetition of phrases that might seem more accessible and more pleasant for the people.

But this is not only a theological error but also a psychological and pastoral one. The wave of esoterism, the spreading of Asian techniques of relaxation and self-emptying demonstrate that something is lacking in our liturgies. It is in our world of today that we are in need of silence, of the super-individual mystery, of beauty. The liturgy is not an invention of the celebrating priest or of a group of specialists; the liturgy the "rite" came about via an organic process throughout the centuries, it bears with it the fruit of the experience of faith of all the generations. Even if the participants do not perhaps understand each single word, they perceive the profound meaning, the presence of the mystery, which transcends all words.

The celebrant is not the center of liturgical action; the celebrant is not in front of the people in his own name—he does not speak by himself or for himself, but in persona Christi. The personal abilities of the celebrant do not count, only his faith counts, by which Christ becomes transparent. Jesus Christ With this reflection, the theme of God has already expanded and been achieved in the theme of Jesus Christ: Only in Christ and through Christ does the theme God become truly concrete: Christ is Emmanuel, the God-with-us—the concretization of the "I am," the response to Deism.

Today, the temptation is great to diminish Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into a merely historical Jesus, into a pure man. One does not necessarily deny the divinity of Jesus, but by using certain methods one distills from the Bible a Jesus to our size, a Jesus possible and comprehensible within the parameters of our historiography. But this "historical Jesus" is an artifact, the image of his authors rather than the image of the living God see 2 Corinthians ff; Colossians The Christ of faith is not a myth; the so-called historical Jesus is a mythological figure, self-invented by various interpreters.

The years of history of the "historical Jesus" faithfully reflect the history of philosophies and ideologies of this period.


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