As an American Christian, it’s clear to me that I’m living in an increasingly secular nation. And by secular, I don’t mean most Americans are atheist or agnostic. Nor do I mean most Americans are hesitant to bring their religion into public discussions. Instead, following philosopher Charles Taylor, I mean Christianity has been displaced from the default position and is now positively contested by countless religions, ideologies, and “takes” and “spins” on the world.

As a result, there’s less consensus and more contention on social and political issues. Moreover, historic and biblical Christianity is increasingly viewed as implausible, unimaginable, even reprehensible. Christians who don’t abandon these beliefs are considered either ignorant or evil, or both. This radical restructuring of society, with Christianity expunged from the public square, has ancient roots, and few have helped me understand our present situation more than a 19th-century Dutch historian named Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (1801–1876).

To read the rest of the article, originally published at The Gospel Coalition, click here.


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