In our attempt to trace how CCC in Luxembourg fits into today’s theological currents, we come to the rather elusive label “evangelical”. What does that mean? Who can legitimately call himself an evangelical? To get our arms around that question we’ll have to turn the clock back a generation or two. And we’ll have to look at the very different ways this word has been used in Europe and the United States.
Fundamentalism -- now there’s a dirty word for you! Today to be a fundamentalist is to be noted for violence, blinkered narrow-mindedness, intolerance, naive commitment to literal interpretation of ancient (read “outdated”) religious documents . . . in short, all the politically incorrect attitudes that secular western society despises.
Let’s take a look this week at a movement that emerged strongly at the end of the 19th century in continental Europe, Britain and the Americas to "soup up" a Christianity that had lost faith in the miraculous work of a transcendant God -- a little like fancy exhaust pipes on an antique car. In theology we use the term “liberalism” as the label, but this means something quite different from what it denotes today in economic theory and politics.
Are you interested in the religions of the world? Thanks to the internet and the mixing of religious traditions across our continent, we’re probably more aware of the vast variety of views on religion and spirituality than our parents were.