Saturday 6 October 2012

How might a Mere Christian subculture actually happen


In a comment to

Commenter 'Imnobody' made the following point: I don't think there can be an unified Christian subculture now. We will have Catholic subcultures, Orthodox subcultures, Calvinist subcultures, etc. After the fallout of the modernity, subcultures will inherit the earth and it will be the time to think about unity. Now, it is time to think about the preservation of the Christian message, regardless the specific denominations. 

This seems to be correct in terms of the likely sequence of events.


There now seems zero possibility (outside Russia) of any chance of a centrally coordinated Christian resurgence; it is something that will happen, or not happen, at a small scale.

And due not to any kind of positive, formal or intellectual plan; but simply to sheer bloody-minded and absolute refusal to go along with secular Leftism.


Discrete, un-unified traditional Christian subcultures may survive mostly due to their intransigence, their resistance, their devoutness.

Then as secular Leftism self-annihilates, and these scattered subcultures remain, will come 'the time to think about unity'.


What might happen then would depend upon the choices of the survivors: there may perhaps be a time-limited chance of a real cross-denominational Mere Christian unity; or else a single catholic denomination might emerge (unlikely as this seems); or, unity may be rejected - in which case the denominations (each too small and weak for any to be viable on its own) will probably be picked-off, or decline to extinction, or survive with dhimmi status, or something...

Until the end times. 


Reggie Perrin said...

I think that the emotional barriers to a united front are as great as the theological or political barriers.

I'm speaking as a very liberal Catholic - someone with more in common with a secular Leftist than (say) a devout conservative Baptist. However, my identity will always be Catholic. I'm an RC, a Taig, a Tim, a Paddy, call me what you will, but this is the identity that I will default to, irrespective of other intellectual or political considerations.

This profound sense of identity can be either a strength or a weakness, depending on the circumstances, but it sure is an obstacle to a "Mere Christianity" subculture. I have no idea what you can do to overcome it, because it's part of human nature.

Reggie Perrin said...

To be clear, I have an ethnic identity which is inextricably linked with a faith in God, Christ and the sacraments. If I merely had the ethnic identity, I would be like Dara O'Briain, who says "I am an atheist, but I am a Catholic atheist". I am coming from the premise of being in sympathy with, rather than indifferent or opposed to, the Christian worldview - otherwise I wouldn't trouble posting on this blog.

Bruce Charlton said...

@RP - You say "I'm speaking as a very liberal Catholic - someone with more in common with a secular Leftist than (say) a devout conservative Baptist." - but surely that means you are more concerned with worldly values than with salvation?

Unless you simply mean 'more in common' in a casual and social sense of being able to get along comfortably with.

Reggie Perrin said...

I am liberal/left in politics and rather conservative in other respects, including my religious faith.

But it wasn't my purpose to get into a debate on this - I was seeking to point out that religious identities are exceptionally strong, and a "Mere Christianity" is always going to be an artificial construct because it's not rooted in culture and experience.