The true gospel is radically exclusive. Jesus is not a way; He is the way, and all other ways are no way at all. If Christianity would only move one small step toward a more tolerant ecumenicalism and exchange the definite article the for the indefinite article a, the scandal would be over, and the world and Christianity could become friends. However, whenever this occurs, Christianity ceases to be Christianity, Christ is denied, and the world is without a Savior.
Christianity can be built around isolating ourselves from evildoers and sinners, creating a community of religious piety and moral purity. That's the Christianity I grew up with. Christianity can also be built around joining with the broken sinners and evildoers of our world crying out to God, groaning for grace. That's the Christianity I have fallen in love with.
So herein lies the choice for those of us who are Christians. We can either stay within the Christianity we have mastered with the Jesus we have domesticated, or we can leave Christianity as a destination, embrace Christianity as a way of life, and then journey to reality, where God is present and living in every person, every human community, and all creation.
This Christianity is not a cultural thing. It is not something that should be just a small part of your life; it is not something that you do on Sunday... Christianity is not about you being just like the world all the time and then coming to church on Sunday. If that is your Christianity... you are not Christian.
Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent urban problems. To cities filled with the homeless and the impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachments. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violent ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fires, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services.
All religions worthy of the name are now making great efforts to purify their doctrines and return to their original standpoint, - all except Christianity! You surely know that the nineteenth century Christianity is not the religion taught by Christ. Christ's religion has been changed and corrupted. But Christian clergymen are well aware that if they were to attempt to purify Christianity and bring it back to the religion of Christ, the result would be to reform it out of existence. Christianity stands to-day completely explained. Every step in its development is laid bare and shown to be due to purely natural causes, and it is easy to see how much Christianity adopted from other and older religions.
As for Christianity's alleged concern with truth, Christian faith is to free inquiry what the Mafia is to free enterprise. Christianity may be represented as a competitor in the realm of ideas to be considered on the basis of its merits, but this is mere disguise. Like the Mafia, if Christianity fails to defeat its competition by legitimate means (which is a forgone conclusion), it resorts to strong-arm tactics. Have faith or be damned - this biblical doctrine alone is enough to exclude Christianity from the domain of reason.
George H. Smith
I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law... There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations.
There are also two Christianities in the world today. There is (1) the Christianity of the New Testament, and there is (2) the Christianity of accommodation to modernism, egalitarianism, niceness, naturalism, pop psychology, secular humanism, relativism, subjectivism, individualism, "Enlightenment" rationalism or postmodern irrationalism. New converts to the first Christianity are constantly amazed and scandalized by finding many of their clergy to be in love with the second and in fear of the first.
I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hatethe corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.
Discipleship means adherence to Christ and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract theology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge of the subject of grace or the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact exclude any idea of discipleship whatsoever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ....Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
Millennials aren't looking for a hipper Christianity. We're looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity. Like every generation before ours and every generation after, we're looking for Jesus-the same Jesus who can be found in the strange places he's always been found: in bread, in wine, in baptism, in the Word, in suffering, in community, and among the least of these.
Rachel Held Evans
Wondering whether Christianity is real is not the same as wondering whether Christianity is true. If you question the truth of Christianity, you can do something tangible about it. You can read books, take a class, or talk to someone about it. But what can you do when you're already convinced it's true but don't experience it as real?
Gregory A. Boyd
Socialism" is no more an evil word than "Christianity." Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition. Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve.
The sum of the whole matter is this: He who is one in will and heart with God is a Christian. He who loves God is one in will and heart with Him. He who trusts Christ loves God. That is Christianity in its ultimate purpose and result. That is Christianity in its means and working forces. That is Christianity in its starting point and foundation.
The heart of the difference between cheap-grace doctrines of guilt-free existence and the Christian gospel is this: Modern chauvinism desperately avoids the message of guilt by treating it as a regrettable symptom. Christianity listens to the message of guilt by conscientious self-examination. Hedonism winks at sin. Christianity earnestly confesses sin. Secularism assumes it can extricate itself from gross misdeeds. Christianity looks to grace for divine forgiveness. Modern consciousness is its own fumbling attorney before the bar of conscience. Christianity rejoices that God himself has become our attorney. Modernity sees no reason to atone for or make reparation for wrongs. Christianity knows that unatoned sin brings on misery of conscience. Modern naturalism sees no meed for God. Christianity celebrates God's willingness to suffer four our sins and redeem us from guilt.
Thomas C. Oden
If patriotism is good, then Christianity, which gives peace, is an idle dream, and the sooner this teaching is eradicated, the better. But if Christianity really gives peace, and if we really want peace, then patriotism is a leftover from barbarous times, which must not only not be evoked and taught, as we now do, but which must be eradicated by all means of preaching, persuasion, contempt, and ridicule. If Christianity is the truth, and if we wish to live in peace, then we must not only have no sympathy for the power of our country, but must even rejoice in its weakening and contribute to it.
Christianity is not a patent medicine. Christianity claims to give an account of facts - to tell you what the real universe is like. Its account of the universe may be true, or it may not, and once the question is really before you, then your natural inquisitiveness must make you want to know the answer. If Christianity is untrue, then no honest man will want to believe it, however helpful it might be: if it is true, every honest man will want to believe it, even if it gives him no help at all.
C. S. Lewis
The way in which I know Christianity is true is first and foremost is the basis of the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart. And this gives me self-authenticating means of knowing Christianity is true wholly apart from the evidence. And therefore, even if in some historically contingent circumstances the evidence that I have available to me should turn against Christianity, I do not think that controverts the witness of the Holy Spirit.
William Lane Craig
Christianity was created by some decadent and degenerated Romans as a tool of oppression, in the late Roman era, and it should be treated accordingly. It is like handcuffs to the mind and spirit and is nothing but destructive to mankind. In fact I don't really see Christianity as a religion. It is more like a spiritual plague, a mass psychosis, and it should first and foremost be treated as a problem to be solved by the medical science. Christianity is a diagnosis. It's like Islam and the other Asian religions, a HIV/AIDS of the spirit and mind.