American Christianity

This seems to sum up much of American Christianity these days. Excerpt taken from The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson.

“Two sociologists have given us the category ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,’ which, they say, largely dominates the religious life of American young people from a wide variety of religious affiliations. I suspect that MTD, as it is called, captures a much wider span of ages than youth alone. The five tenets of MTD are:

(1) A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
(2) God wants people to be good, nice, fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
(3) The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
(4) God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
(5) Good people go to heaven when they die.

“In other words, utilitarian narcissism reigns triumphant: God exists, but only to make us happy and nice, which is the aim of existence. Otherwise God minds his own business. That’s how I read the Bible, and who are you to say something different?
“By contrast, the truth of the Bible, as we have seen, focuses on our rebellion and need as God sees them, and on God as the ruler, sovereign, judge, and gracious Savior who alone can rescue us from our sin and reconcile us to himself. These things can be tested by the systematic study of Scripture. Those who hold, for instance, to MTD, or the essential equivalence of all religions, simply cannot make their case out of any holistic reading of the Bible, but only by the most egregious and subjective proof-texting.”

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