Gina Welch's, In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church,
This book looks fascinating. I couldn't resist homing on one sentence in particular:
"Why would they open themselves up to influence from a culture that made no space for their beliefs?"This closely echoes The Ken's position on religion and spirituality. My good friend Daniel reminded me of the term Steel Ceiling describing this situation. Traditionalist religion has no place to grow up into. For an individual to grow into a rational world-view they have little choice but to leave their religion. The forces of modernist rationality reject religion as mythic nonsense and the traditionalist religions reject modernism as satanic devolution and godlessness. The battle lines are drawn. Ms. Welch crossed the front lines in disguise to bring back tales of her traditional enemy and finds that, guess what, they are human beings who are far more thoughtful, reflective, and diverse than she, a Berkely educated atheist, would have given them credit for.
This is why I have little patience for Hitchens and company. They are still fighting a battle that modernism has clearly won. They are shooting fish in a barrel. Surely there is something else they can do with those big brains?
Granted, there may be a valid role for them, but this tone seems to dominate the conversation between the traditional world and the modern world. We have to find constructive ways to let the faithful grow into rationality without having to reject their religion. This is The Ken's opinion on it, and I pretty much buy it. I think Ms. Welch has done a very good thing.