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If anything characterizes the last few remnants of faith in the west, it would be a search for authenticity.
Nineteenth century Romanticism was just another attempt to escape reality, and post-modernism finally gave up on reality.
Modernism in the mainline denominations, as it turned out, was nothing but faked, inauthentic Humanism. So we continued our search for authenticity in the 1960s and 1970s.
Then the crusty, moldy Protestants clung desperately to their old confessions, rendering tacit assent to them, hoping that would somehow salvage the faith.
Forms were everywhere. Everything could be externalized. Confessions were programmed. Rituals were supposed to equate to faith. The Catholics had theirs and the Protestants theirs. If you could check off a list of externals - a hand raised in an evangelistic meeting, modest dresses, prayer meeting attendance, and avoidance of alcohol - that would make you "one of the number." But we have since learned that narrowing applications inevitably results in the displacement of the principle and a painfully superficial faith.
So here we are, relentlessly pursuing AUTHENTICITY. We formulate. We incarnate, retaining heart-hand connections and the faith-works thing as distinct but not separate. We find that relationships drive specificity and authenticity, so we carefully weave the fabric of truth and love, tighter and tighter, tighter and tighter. We insist on life incarnation of our doctrinal formulations. We demand it. We will not tolerate cold, empty doctrinal statements.
We are entirely overwhelmed by the deceitfulness of the human heart, where fraudulent faith is everywhere, and apostates are just more honest than the rest. May God, by His sovereign grace give us true faith. Amen.