At the recent Far West Regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society held at Grand Canyon University, Leroy A. Hill, Th.M candidate presented a paper titled, ” The Continuing Effects of Modernity on Christian Public Life.”
The continuing effects of modernity on Christian public life are regularly experienced but seldom discussed or recognized. Though the concerns of the deeply religious, the moderately religious, and the irreligious in public life vary, in times past, all have been received, though not uniformly so, as repositories of wisdom by society at large. President George W. Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative in the late 1990s is an example of Christian public engagement. Evangelicals embraced the idea of a public life where the goals and values they held privately could be expressed in political policy. However, in recent times, this reception has been muted or has given way to open hostility towards the Christian voice in public life. One reason for this hostility is the effects of modernity. Modernity is the confluence of individualism, industrialization with technological and economic growth, and their subsequent outworking on a particular society and the inevitable secularization that it produces. Incorporating evidence from the writings of Vincent Bacote, Abraham Kuyper, and James Davison Hunter et al. this paper will show that while modernity continues to have a deleterious effect on Christian public life the proper response is thoughtful retrenchment and reengagement rather than brittle compromise.
Key words: Modernity, Secularism, Pluralism, Common Grace