Reviews - What do customers think about Christian Theology for a Secular Society: Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land?
Christians In Exile Feb 14, 2009
McKim sees a parallel in the lameent of the Jews (Psalm 137), who were carried into captivity from their city and Temple into a strange land, and today's Christian Community. We have not literally been led away in chains to a foreign land, but as we wake up in the 21st century we find ourselves Strangers in a Strange Land. Christendom is no longer a valid paradigm for how we are the Church. The era of "Christendom," which began with Constantine, entered into its rapid decline during the second half of the twentieth century, and while some vestiges remain, it has been replacsed by a completely secular society (in the West at least), in which religious institutions have so special status.
Although he does not grieve its demise, McKim has been struck by the reality and implications of the age of Christendom being over. Any status and advantage the Church once had in a partnership with the State to run the world has evaporated. The dominance of secularism challenges the Church to assume the role its founder intended, to be the leaven in the loaf of society. The downside of this reality is that being Christian is not a requirement or expectation of citizenship. Church membership and attendance is not the thing to do in a secular society, and McKim is especially concerned for the younger person who is endeavouring to live out his faith but feels that he "is the only one." He offers a Christian theology designed for those who desire to sing the Lord's song in the strange land of secular society.
I doubt that it would be too helpful to hand this tome to the young man with raging hormones who is struggling to be faithful to Christian values in a society that has no regard for them and where "anything goes" and "everyone's doing it." But the book could be a welcome resource to the young man's pastor in offering empathetic support.
McKim's systematic theology covers the gamut of the subject, from creation to last things. It is his intention to explain them in terms that will make sense to the modern reader who desires a relevant faith. While we may not agree on all the fine points of McKim's theological analyses, his book is a timely reminder to those of us in ministry that we need to learn the geography of this new world where we are exiled, if its "only ones" are going to hear anything we are trying to say.