I was looking through the archives of "This Rock" for something, and ran across this article. I know Ridgeback is a big fan of Mere Chrsitianity, so I thought I would post it. Disclaimer: I've not read the article yet, so...
IS THERE A "MERE CHRISTIANITY"?
By K.D. Whitehead
AT one time our society was considered Christian. Traditional Christian moral standards used to be supported by public policy; those who openly violated them were shunned in one way or another. Today society appears rather to sanction, if not actually encourage, deviations from and even contempt for such standards; one need only consider what the mass media present as acceptable and desirable moral, especially sexual, behavior.
Things once regarded as shameful and immoral are considered "alternate lifestyles" and even something to brag about. In this moral climate, marriage has greatly suffered.
Births out of wedlock are at an all-time high for both whites and blacks, even though abortions too are near an all-time high-4,400 each day in the United States. Nearly one out of every two marriages fails, while two out of three remarriages fail. What Christ said should never be put asunder (Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:9) is becoming a rarity in the Western society that was originally brought to birth by the Church Christ founded.
No-fault divorce is bad enough, but no-fault abortion was simply unimaginable a generation ago. Abortion was rejected with horror by all the Christian centuries prior to our own, as it was rejected with horror by ancient Israel. It was only legalized for the first time in modern times (in 1920) by the ruthless totalitarian regime which emerged from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. We can see what kind of regime our own society has come to resemble by legalizing abortion.
Over the past two decades abortion has been legalized, at least in some degree, in most of the countries of the formerly Christian West. No more striking example of a radical departure from basic Christianity can be cited or even imagined. Last year more than a million-and-a-half other American women had their babies killed prior to birth for reasons often trivial.
With the legalization of the elective killing of a significant portion of the next generation, we can surely no longer lay claim to being to a society that remains Christian in any important sense. We are living in the midst of a powerful, conscious, and determined new paganism or secularism, which does not even recognize its own moral degeneracy but rather proudly revels in it.
What should Christians do in the midst of this frankly immoral new society? How can Christians continue to maintain denominational differences, and carry on old denominational quarrels, in the face of the massive modern assault on virtually every basic Christian idea? How important are controversies about how many sacraments there are, whether Christ established a priestly ministry, whether it was limited to men, what Scripture ought to mean to Christians, whether devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is legitimate, or which Christian communion, if any, constitutes the "true Church"-or whether there even is a "true Church"?
How can such questions continue to be important in the face of today's all-out assault on the very idea that there is a God who made the world and who, through Jesus Christ, has revealed to mankind his intentions and purposes concerning that world?
Continued at catholic.com...