Future of Liberal Religion: A Counterculture Blooms?
In a recent issue of The Christian Century, historian David Hollinger says: â€œThe ongoing accommodation between ecumenical and evangelical Protestants may well continue, but if it does, I fear that it will be at the cost of an opposite accommodation that deserves more attention than it has received. Perhaps,â€ he proposes, â€œâ€¦the intellectual leaders of the ecumenical seminaries and denominations should more aggressively criticize the religious ideas proclaimed by the most visible of the evangelicals in American life today.â€
Harry Emerson Fosdickâ€™s noted 1922 sermon â€œShall the Fundamentalists Win?â€ could serve as a potential model, Hollinger offers, suggesting that â€œthe salient solidarity today may not be with the community of faith but among those who accept Enlightenment-generated standards for cognitive plausibility.â€ This is attractive advice for Protestants who dream of a revitalized political, cultural, and religious left in America. Individual ministers still possess the same freedom to speak their minds as Fosdick didâ€”and should; though ecumenical organizations with member denominations split over controversial topics must develop common ground first.