Document: James H. Olthuis, Must the Church become Secular? (Toronto, ON.: Institute for Christian Studies, n.d.).

Excerpt: The most perplexing, and at the same time, the most vital question which faces the Christian community is her relation to the world. She may not flee the world she is called to be “in” the world – neither may she accommodate to the world – it is her very nature to be “out” of the world. She may not be a “cultural pessimist”, but then, neither may she be a “cultural optimist.” The people of God have faced this issue in every age, but today it urges itself upon the Christian community with a special intensity. Many factors play their role in this situation. Science and technology have pushed back farther and farther the frontiers of man’s knowledge. Man is intoxicated with his newly-won powers and the possibilities these afford for future conquests. At the same time, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Christian Church are declared to be for all intents and purposes irrelevant. “God”, to cite D. Bonhoeffer’s famous words in his letter from prison of July 1, 1944, “is no longer needed as a working hypothesis, whether in morals, politics or science… in religion or philosophy.” Man has “come of age.” In brief, the world considers itself untouched by the Gospel, and the Church finds herself out of touch with the world.

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Must the Church Become Secular – J.H. Olthuis.pdf