Spirituality in the Twenty-first Century

By Marek Jantos

In a famous statement Volatire proclaimed that "if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Today, Voltaire's pronouncement is echoed by contemporary philosophers and scientists attempting to understand the human desire for meaning, certainty, and a supernatural God. Social scientists have described this unquenchable desire for the mystical as a "spirituality revolution." Others call it the "third wave" of scientific research. But the current interest makes it evident that these are soul-searching times.

With this unprecedented interest in spirituality we might be inclined to think that skepticism was out of style and faith was in fashion again. But the scenario is more complex than it first appears. As a church, committed to the proclamation of the everlasting gospel through the ministries of health, education, and compassionate service, we need to take a considered stand in relation to this modern-day phenomenon.

Read more ...

Christian Spirituality in the Postmodern World

By John W. Wong

Spirituality has been in vogue the past decade.
The term is popular in media and secular culture as well as in religious circles. People are fascinated by angels, near-death experiences, and Shirley MacLaine-type New Age philosophy. New Agers proclaim that we are all gods. Others suggest we can claim the prerogatives of the divine through such experiences as channeling, transcendental meditation, martial arts, yoga, drugs, hypnosis, contact with the deceased, and higher consciousness. Recently Native American and Eastern religions have also enthralled many with their pantheistic overtones, promising human fulfillment and the attainment of godhood and eternal bliss.
So how does Christian spirituality fit into a postmodern world that emphasizes openness, relativism, and skepticism about truth, norms, meaning, knowledge, and reason? What is the place of spirituality in our shrinking global village, where relationships and belonging count? What's its place in postmodernity, where there is a concern for the "marginalized other" as well as consumer capitalism? In this so-called post-Christian world, isn't there a tendency to use terms without thinking too much about what they mean? Terms such as religious pluralism, multiculturalism, evolutionary, mysterious.

Read more ...