Chapter

The spectrum of belief and the question of the church

Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

in The Predicament of Belief

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695270
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731945 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695270.003.0008
The spectrum of belief and the question of the church

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The foregoing chapters present a comprehensive case for what the authors call “Christian minimalism,” a position that affirms certain core claims of Christian theism (sometimes in a revised form) but also acknowledges their controversial and uncertain status. The result is a form of Christian faith that combines abiding conviction with an attitude of humility and respect for non-Christian beliefs. This concluding chapter considers the implications of this position for Christian practice. It does so partly in light of current data on the dramatic decline of formal religious affiliation, especially among young people. Taken together, that trend and the authors’ conclusions point toward the emergence of Christian communities in which anxiety about consensus is set aside and belief in particular doctrines is subordinated to a shared commitment to Jesus’ example of self-surrendering obedience to the ultimate reality.

Keywords: Christian minimalism; humility; faith; Christian communities; emergent church; ecclesiology; anxiety; Jesus; ultimate reality

Chapter.  7466 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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