Mike Hogue, Assistant Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School
, issued a call
for a new Reformation, which begins:
"Liberal religion is in crisis! It always has been and always will be, for crisis is part of the essence of liberalism as a place between extremism and complacency. But our current crisis-nature is nonetheless distinct.
Rather than standing against the hypermodern hubris of our North American individualism, liberal religion is entrenched within this same ethos. Rather than mediating the religious and political extremes in our world, we are paralyzed by our own internal divisions and do not have a theologically purposive vision with which to move beyond them. Instead of witnessing to the constructive increase of justice, love, and wisdom through interfaith community, our public footprint is much too small and we seem to be a register of the world’s religious and moral conflicts rather than a constructive example..."
Hogue calls for a public theology which is "historically faithful and culturally relevant," and urges us to face our "loss of theological literacy." He says our congregations must be service- rather than maintenance-oriented, and concludes, "the promise of this public theology is to provide a language and to embolden ways of life that honor the most humane and life-giving dimensions of different religions while not forfeiting the prophetic task of rejecting what is inhumane and life-degrading."
I agree, and yet I want more specifics: what does such a Reformation actually *look* like, in our congregations and in our lives?