Ross Douthat on Liberalism and the Episcopalian Malaise

In the wake of the Episcopal Church’s approval of same-sex relationships, Ross Douthat says that theological liberalism is a dead-end for the church:

The Episcopal Church…is flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.

Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase…

The leaders of the Episcopal Church and similar bodies often don’t seem to be offering anything you can’t already get from a purely secular liberalism. Which suggests that perhaps they should pause, amid their frantic renovations, and consider not just what they would change about historic Christianity, but what they would defend and offer uncompromisingly to the world.

Absent such a reconsideration, their fate is nearly certain: they will change, and change, and die.

Read the rest here.

One Response to Ross Douthat on Liberalism and the Episcopalian Malaise

  1. Larry Geiger July 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    And the PCUSA is on the train in the next car behind. Who’s wants to be next?

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