Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dualism, Holism, and Secularism

Just finished up listening to Mike Frost talks. Overall, not bad. I was a little disappointed because most of what he said was nothing new. I guess the writer of Ecclesiastes did know what he was talking about after all(hehe).

The only thing that really got me perturbed was in his first talk. He mentioned that Christianity has become dualistic (i.e. it has separated secular life from sacred life). He passionately asserts that this separation comes from Greek influence on Christianity and that this is not what was ever intended. From what I understand his co-author goes into more detail about the holistic approach to life that Christianity inherited from Judaism. While I agree wholeheartedly that the Jewish worldview had a more holistic (the sacred and secular are united rather than separated) understanding of the world, I wonder how the whole tribe-of-Levi thing is dealt with as well as the choirs of David.

Is there a divide between the profane (the common) and the sacred?

Parenthesis:I made this statement in seminary that the reason many people leave there confused (besides the fact that some had little foundation going in and really didn't know what they believed) was that the sacred was handled so much that it became profane. -End of parenthetical rabbit trails.

For argument sake, let's assume MF is right. Jesus meant for there to be no divide between the sacred and secular. What do you do when secularism becomes the dominant religion of a society?

IF we kept the "dualism" of Christianity, would that help or hurt our cause? I am almost willing to say hurt in a bad way. I am hesitate though. The thing that holds me back is can or would people search for the sacred if it were separated in a secular context? Experience answers "no."

So, I continue to mull...


Kc said...

Great thoughts Pech and though I haven’t made it through all the talks yet I have the same impressions (what a surprise! hehe).

I have a suspicion that the reason this has become an issue is because most people are unable or unwilling to put forth the effort to distinguish between their own will and God’s will in their life. I don’t consider this a new problem or a new approach.

The walk of faith requires we seek Him daily and what He requires of us today He might well prohibit tomorrow. Only He knows what is good and what is evil and He will guide each of us in the paths of righteousness if we follow Christ’ example and look to God. I think it is just as foolish to say all is good as it is to say such and such is always evil.

drlobojo said...

Is not salvation a merging, not a setting apart? Is not setting the church apart, setting apart the believers, practicing the dualism that goes back 30,000 years in mankinds quest for God?
All religions seem to sanctify (set apart) their believers in one way or another. Even Paul fall into the trap because of his Greekness does he not?

pecheur said...

You know I have no idea. Really.

Both comments make total sense to me.

My hang up may be with semantics. I can't help but see a secular/sacred divide. But maybe the terms should be private vs public spirituality. That maybe what Kc is saying.