Excellent observastion…


I’m currently reading The Foundations of Christian Bioethics by H. Tristram Engelhardt (Eastern Orthodox), and he made an observation about mainline denominations concerning their stances on bioethics. It links in to what I posted earlier. He points out:

“The mainline Protestant religions, along with many Roman Catholics, have drunk deeply of the passion of aggiornamento [nb – the act of bringing theology “up to the times”]. Rather than finding themselves at home in the emerging global liberal cosmopolitan culture as they expected, they are marked by a double alienation. On the one hand, they are estranged from the moral framework within which the authors of the New Testament and the Fathers of the Church lives and breathed. That world is for them too sexist and unconcerned with political liberation to be anything but deeply politically incorrect, if not profoundly embarrassing. Imagine a culture in which wives submit respectfully to their husbands and slaves recognize that the tyrant from which they should free themselves is first and foremost their own passions. On the other hand, when religions accommodate to the pretensions of the secular culture, they become irrelevant. They have nothing of their own to offer. The choice is an unappealing one: Christianity and its bioethics are either in their traditional form a secular scandal or in their secularly reformed versions largely beside the point. After all, if one wanted accounts of social justice, secular philosophy should do at least as well as, if not beter than, Christian moral theology…”

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