Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

James Cutsinger

Abstract

This paper offers an internal critique of evangelical Christianity as a thoroughly postmodern expression of Christianity in the sense that evangelical worship is informed by minimalist tendencies that lead to 'de-sacramentalized' life and worship. The standard for 'orthodox' Christian worship by which evangelicals are measured is the 'religionless Christianity' of Dietrich Bonhoeffer--the idea that Christianity is not a religious compartment of life but the whole being of man in relation to God. This concept is further supported by Orthodox liturgist Alexander Schmemann's discussion of Christianity as the 'end of religion.' The 'postmodern evangelical heresy' is defined by Schmemann as 'secularism.' Secularism is not the rejection of God but the rejection of the 'ontological sacramentality' of the life of man. The concluding argument posits that evangelicals could arguably reinvigorate their worship by looking to reclaim a central place for sacrament.

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