Do-It-Yourself Religion

I see this more and more often. Faith is no longer something we share among a community of believers, but a possession in the hands of an individual who will shape it to his or her liking. Perhaps this is the religious outworking of “liquid modernity,” a culture in which structures change so quickly that it is hard to find stable footing. Perhaps it is the ever-growing influence of postmodernity, which involves the rejection of “metanarratives,” or broad accounts of life that give shape to cultural understandings of the world around us. Having spent my adult life trying to grow in the knowledge and wisdom of one tradition, building upon the insights of millennia of reflection by those who have gone before me in the faith, I can’t imagine trying to build something new for myself by collecting bits and pieces of various traditions and worldviews. Regardless, this is the spirit of the age.

I’d encourage you to listen to this episode of the “Get Religion” podcast on this topic. It’s worth your time.

One thought on “Do-It-Yourself Religion

  1. Ah, but David, there is the rub. All streams of human tradition, no matter where they are and of whom they began, broaden and decompose over time. Some of them do this over decades; some over centuries; some over millennia. This is why without a military-industrial true foundation — as much of the Roman church had for more or less sixteen hundred years, as most North American churches had for perhaps three hundred years — any body of human tradition broadens and decomposes steadily. I will suggest that God is rubbing the world’s face in these things, increasingly, and accelerating over time.

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