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Christian-Secular Engagement

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  1. Christian-Secular Engagement Christ World Us Rise of Secularism and Christian Engagement

  2. Christian-Secular Engagement Western Worldview Development Christian Foundation Worldview Christian Foundation Worldview Bridging The Gap Renaissance 14th Century Other Spiritual Worldview Enlightenment 17th -18th Century Secular Worldview

  3. Christian-Secular Engagement Christian Secular Worldview Divide Christian Worldview Knowledge Sector Bridging The Gap Christian Perspective Science/Reason Popular Media Secular Worldview Wealth Accumulation

  4. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • The US Supreme Court since the mid 20th century has interpreted the First Amendment as if it requires this "wall of separation" between church and state. Meaning, it not only prohibits the government from adopting a particular denomination or religion as official, but, in violation of the free expression clause, has regularly ruled to limit religious expression in the public sphere from prayers to passive displays of the 10 commandments which had been allowed the first 150 plus years of the nation.

  5. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • In the landmark 1947 case, Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court applied the "establishment clause" of the First Amendment to the states. • Taxpayer in New Jersey brought a lawsuit against the state to stop travel reimbursement to parents sending their kids to religious schools by the state of New Jersey. He claimed it violated both the State’s and U.S. constitutions supporting one religion.

  6. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • In the landmark 1947 case, Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court applied the "establishment clause" of the First Amendment to the states. • The interpretation put forward overturned 150 years legal interpretation that allowed public expression of religion even in government supported entity such as holding church services in the capitol building.

  7. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment &1947 Everson v. Board of Education • "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'" 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.

  8. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education • 1800 – Congress decided to use the capital as a church building • John Quincy Adams – “Religious service is usually performed on Sundays at the Treasury Office and the capitol.”

  9. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education • 1853 – a group petitioned congress to separate Christian principles from government, asking chaplains to be turned out of congress and military and Christianity from the public sphere. • Judiciary Committee Report in response Mar. 27, 1854 – “Had the people [the Founding Fathers] during the Revolution, a suspicion of attempt to war against Christianity, the Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. . . At the time of the adoption of the constitution and its amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect.”

  10. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • Before 1947 Everson v. Board of Education • 1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States • Immigrant worker contracted as Rector and Pastor for the church U.S. claimed this was illegal under law • Not the intent of the legislators to prevent churches from doing this. • Listed 80 precedents – many looking at the religious foundations of the nation through rulings and state s’ legal documents. http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/143/457/case.html • Ruled unanimously that Christianity was the bases of U.S. law and institutions

  11. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States • If we examine the constitutions of the various states, we find in them a constant recognition of religious obligations. Every Constitution of every one of the forty-four states contains language which, either directly or by clear implication, recognizes a profound reverence for religion, and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the wellbeing of the community. This recognition may be in the preamble, such as is found in the Constitution of Illinois, 1870: • "We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations,"

  12. Christian-Secular Engagement • 1892 – Church of the Holy Trinity v United States • If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, "In the name of God, amen;" the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. In the face of all these, shall it be believed that a Congress of the United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing in another nation? • Page 143 U. S. 472

  13. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • Supreme Court ruling in 20th century began legal change • Engles v. Vitale (1962) – ruling about state sponsored prayer. New York Board of Regents wanted to have a non-denominational prayer to recite in school. • ”Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country.” • Students were not compelled or encourage to participate. • 11 of 13 judges who considered the case felt the ruling “would be historically wrong and itself constitutionally objectionable.” – No precedents cited in this case.

  14. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • Supreme Court ruling in 20th century began legal change • Chief Judge of the New York court of Appeals said regard the Engel v. Vitale case: • “Not only is the prayer not a violation of the First Amendment . . . But holding that it is such a violation would be in defiance of all American history, and such a holding would destroy a part of the essential foundation of the American governmental structure.”

  15. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • Engel v. Vitale case: • Term Church redefined to mean a religious activity performed in public instead of religious institution • Now meant government must not allow a public religious activity

  16. Christian-Secular Engagement Christendom and the U.S. • 1st Amendment History • Supreme Court ruling in 20th century began legal change • Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) – from a case originating in Alabama ruled that public schools may not set aside a period of silence at the beginning of the school day if there is the mere suggestion that students might use the time for prayer. • See Justice White’s and other justices dissenting opinions where he show the precedents for not ruling against a period of silence. • http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/472/38/case.html#F26

  17. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Three forces developing from the Enlightenment period • Secular Humanistic Philosophy (Knowledge sector & Reason) • Evolutionary Theory and Materialism (Science & Reason) • Modernization (Wealth accumulation & Media)

  18. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Enlightenment period strengthened humanistic thinking (18th century) • Has its roots in some aspects of Greek philosophical thinking • Humanism • Positively - it refers to the dignity of human beings and improving the human condition. • Negatively – it refers to a belief system in which humans beings replace God as central source knowledge and ethical decisions.

  19. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Humanism defined: • A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. • A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance and Enlightenment that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.

  20. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Humanism defined: • Christian Humanism is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary as "a philosophy advocating the self-fulfillment of man within the framework of Christian principles.“ • Secular Humanism or Modern, Naturalistic Humanism, Scientific Humanism, Ethical Humanism, and Democratic Humanism, is defined by Corliss Lamont, as "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion."

  21. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Renaissance (14th and 15th centuries) • Scientific Revolution (16th and 17th centuries) • Enlightenment period (18th century) • Industrialization and Modern period (19th and 20th centuries) • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) – proclaimed God as dead indicating that enlightenment thinking had killed him in the sense Western culture had excluded him from public life.

  22. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Genesis in the Enlightenment • Age of Reason – Thomas Paine (1794) • Darwinism – Evolutionary Theory & Materialism • Before Darwin (1700’s) there was an idea of the world moving from primitive to the more complex • Darwin (1809-1882) gave it a scientific setting • Origin of Species (1859) • There is a philosophical commitment to the idea of progress of humanity

  23. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Society for Ethical Culture – Secular Humanism Philosophy • Founded in 1876 by rabbi Dr. Felix Adler • Other societies were formed and later merged into American Ethical Union founded also by Adler in 1889. • Became the center for what would become “secular humanism” which teaches that God does not exist, and that man is perfectible, self-sufficient and the measure of all things.

  24. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • First Humanist Society • Founded in 1929 by Charles Potter • 1930 wrote Humanism: A New Religion • “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?” • Horace Mann would widely promote Humanism in the public schools

  25. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Humanist Manifesto I (1933) • Signed by 34 prominent national figures including the educator John Dewey • Rejects traditional Christian beliefs • Supports naturalism, materialism, rationalism, and socialism • The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world. -- Raymond B. Bragg (1933) • http://www.americanhumanist.org/who_we_are/about_humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I

  26. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Torcaso v. Watkins (1961) • Secular humanism recognized as a religion. • “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would general be considered a belief in the existence of God, are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular humanism and others.” • Secular humanism becomes more prominent with the modernization and people looking to humanity as the answer to everything and God is pushed further out of consideration.

  27. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Modernization to secularization • Modernity is often associated with what JurgenHabermas ascribes as the “Enlightenment project” or “project of modernity”. This project finds its genesis in the eighteenth century Enlightenment. It is composed of the ongoing “development of the objectivating sciences, the universalistic bases of morality and law, and autonomous art in accordance with their internal logic but at the same time a release of the cognitive potentials thus accumulated from their esoteric high forms and their utilisation in praxis: that is, in the rational organisation of living conditions and social relations”(1992).

  28. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Modernization to secularization • Netland states that modernity is…characterized by an emphasis upon the capacity of reason to uncover universal truths; the rejection of superstition and religious authoritarianism; and understanding of science as producing ever more accurate pictures of the universe and the human person; and expectation that science, technology and education working together will eradicate problems and progressively improve human life; and a general toleration for various creeds and ways of life, so long as they do not conflict with what reason sanctions (2001, 67).

  29. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Modernization to secularization • Originating with the eighteenth-century Enlightenment we see an increasingly globalized culture that is rooted in the processes of modernization associated with the economic, industrial and social transformations progressively moving worldwide • The Enlightenment is the intellectual heritage of the West during the past three hundred years

  30. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Secularizing factors in modernization • Science is objective • Science can give humanity a true understanding of the world • Reason can be the basis of morality and law • Universal truths can be discovered through reason only • Science , technology, and education can solve humanities problems • Views contrary to reason not respected or even tolerated

  31. Christian-Secular Engagement Christian Thought and American Culture Founding of the U.S. Christian Worldview Foundational Political Thought Political Praxis Science Education Societal Issues Cultural Practices Open Worldview CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE U.S. CULTURE

  32. Christian-Secular Engagement Christian Thought and American Culture Secular Influence in the U.S. Christian Worldview Foundational Political Thought Political Praxis Education Science Societal Issues Cultural Practices Open Worldview U.S. CULTURE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

  33. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Three primary carriers of modernity (Hunter) • The first is “industrial capitalism” with its “applied rationality” and “rational control.” (also communism, et. al) • The second carrier of modernity is the “modern state” as the primary purveyor of a “rationalistic or bureaucratic form of social organization” with its compartmentalization rather than the integration of knowledge. • The third is the “knowledge sector” with its “institutions of culture formation and reality definition” comprises the third carrier of modernity. Prominent within this latter group are universities, the mass media, and the arts (1994, 18-20).

  34. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Modernization to secularization • Modernization and modernity challenge Christianity as it interprets God’s timeless message in the midst of cultural and sociological changes. Whether the progression of modernity constitutes what Max Weber calls the “iron cage” or Peter Berger imagines as a “gigantic steel hammer,” there is little doubt that the Christian message has lived within, confronted, moderated, wrestled with, and even compromised with cultural and social issues as historical situations and societies have changed with the onward march of modernity or forms of modernity, i.e. modernities.

  35. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Influence of Modernization on Culture • Dependence on reason & science from a closed worldview • Wealth accumulation and self-sufficient perspective • Popular media and technological influences • Knowledge sector’s pursuit of truth from a closed worldview perspective

  36. Christian-Secular Engagement Developing Split of Spiritual and Secular • Modernization’s Influence on Christianity • Emphasis on self as the center of human life • Knowledge and education through science and reason is enough for ethical and moral decisions • Material well-being given priority • Religion relegated to sub-conscious experiences, needs, desires and feeling.

  37. Christian-Secular Engagement Influence of Secular Thinking • Biblical Criticism • Liberal scholarship denies inspiration • Modernization & belief in “science” as answer • Religion redefined (see section on religion) • Subjective or psychological • Evolutionary • Secularism • Religion seen as a personal matter • Religion pushed to the fringe of academic pursuit • Religion seen as not important • Spiritual aspects of humanity down-played or ignored

  38. Christian-Secular Engagement Influence of Secular Thinking • Humanist Manifesto II (1973) • “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices. Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the "ghost in the machine" and the "separable soul." Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context. There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have influenced others in our culture.” • http://www.americanhumanist.org/who_we_are/about_humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II

  39. Christian-Secular Engagement Influence of Secular Thinking • Modernization to modernity • Peter Berger notes that modernization consists of the “transformation of the world brought about by the technological innovations of the last few centuries, first in Europe and then with increasing rapidity all over the world.” This transformation especially centers itself within political, social, and economic patterns and structures that substantially influence beliefs, values, and cultures (1977, 70). • Humanism see modern abilities of humans as able to provide answers to all of humanity’s needs. (See Fifth in Humanist Manifesto II)

  40. Christian-Secular Engagement Influence of Secular Thinking • Humanist Manifesto II (1973) • “FIFTH: The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value. Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires. We reject all religious, ideological, or moral codes that denigrate the individual, suppress freedom, dull intellect, dehumanize personality. We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. • SIXTH: In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. . . Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire.

  41. Christian-Secular Engagement Influence of Secular Thinking • Humanist Manifesto III (2003) • Mostly contained in Manifesto II • Puts forward the “self-existence of nature” • Denial of the supernatural • Finality of death • Idea of religion comes from an interaction with the natural environment

  42. Christian-Secular Engagement Division of Spiritual and Secular Spiritual Box Secular Box Revelation Reason God Self

  43. Christian-Secular Engagement Division of Sacred and Secular Faith Miracles Other-worldly problems Sacred – God centered Not Real Separating Christian worldview from being an important dimension of humanity, culture and society, Excluded Middle Self Science God Religion Sight and experience Natural order This-worldly problems Secular – self centered Real Western Two-Tiered View of Reality Adaptation of Paul Hiebert, Missiology: An International Review 10.1 (January 1982: 35-47)

  44. Christian-Secular Engagement Division of Sacred and Secular • How did this two-tiered worldview emerge? • Platonic dualism • Enlightenment thinking – humanity as center • Rationalism – human reason as the answer to humanities problems • Science based on materialistic naturalism • Naturalism – physical world is all that exists • Religion relegated to a persons feelings or sub-conscience experiences, needs, desires, or neurosis. • Religion reactive rather than engaging secular thought

  45. Christian-Secular Engagement Ideological & Sociological Influences of Secularism Secular Humanism Philosophy Christian Worldview Knowledge Sector Christian Perspective Bridging The Gap Evolutionary Theory Materialism Science/Reason Popular Media Wealth Accumulation Secular Worldview Modernization

  46. Christian-Secular Engagement Division of Sacred and Secular • Two-tiered division • Result: This has given rise to secularization of science and the mystification of religion. • Science – deals with the empirical world using mechanistic processes based on the certitudes of sense experience, experimentation and proof from observation of natural law. • Religion – religion was relegated to faith in dreams, visions, inner feelings, subjective thinking, and exceptions to natural law, e.g. miracles and spiritual realm.

  47. Christian-Secular Engagement Division of Sacred and Secular • Christian worldview should dissolve the excluded middle by: • Not confining God to the supernatural realm only or removing the spiritual dimension of our world completely from our understanding • Not viewing the world as simply a system of autonomous scientific laws • Recognizing both the spiritual and physical nature of our world and of people • Recognizing God is involved in human history, affairs of nations, peoples, and individuals.

  48. Christian-Secular Engagement Spiritual and Physical Nature of the World C H R S T I A N Open Worldview Spiritual Realm S C I E N C E Closed Worldview Physical Realm Integrated and Holistic View of Reality

  49. Christian-Secular Engagement Secular Humanism Pushes to Remove the Spiritual Reason Revelation God Self

  50. Christian-Secular Engagement Christian Perspective Humanity is both Spiritual and Physical (Body, Soul, Spirit) Revelation/Reason Spiritual/Physical Worldview God Self