THE END OF CONVENTIONAL CHRISTIANITY by Van de Pol. W. H.

THE END OF CONVENTIONAL CHRISTIANITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Few serious theologians today would contend that conventional Christianity -- the Christianity of forms and mysteries and well intentioned mummery and dogmatism -- is alive, and the present author is not among them. He does not even attempt to demonstrate the obvious, but confines himself to a searching study of the causes for the demise of a religious system which, only two decades ago, seemed destined to live forever, and to an analysis of its probable replacement. The latter consideration forms the core of the book and centers (as does that replacement) around the idea of God: what is he? what is faith? what is lack of faith? what is the value for religion of atheism? etc. And, above all, what will become of organized Christianity now that the intellectual God of the Catholics, and the existential God of the Protestants, has been replaced by the eschatological God of the moderns? To the latter question. Van de Pol answers only that unity and brotherhood can come about -- if the new Christianity manages not to succumb to the ""pseudo-religion"" of secularism. This is an excellent analysis of a modern phenomenon, objective and concise, happily formulated in the light of a phenomenological methodology which justifies a certain Wittgensteinian optimism for the future. Highly recommended for the serious student of religion.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1968
Publisher: Newman