In “Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world” (BBC News 5 August 2011), Robert Pigott reportson the growth of openly atheist mainstream Protestantism, exemplified in the Exodus Church,
It is part of the mainstream Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), and the service is conventional enough, with hymns, readings from the Bible, and the Lord’s Prayer. But the message from Mr Hendrikse’s sermon seems bleak – “Make the most of life on earth, because it will probably be the only one you get”.
From the Web: “Dutch Protestant Church – 1 in 6 clergy atheist/agnostic”
“Personally I have no talent for believing in life after death,” Mr Hendrikse says. “No, for me our life, our task, is before death.”
Problem is, what if there is life after death, as Rabbi Jacobs argues? One cannot espouse Henrikse’s view without being certain that there isn’t. How? Also,
Stroom [a young people’s group] focuses on people’s personal search for God, not on the church’s traditional black-and-white answers.
In the days when churches gave black and white answers, they thought they were dealing with a fact base. Same as science, medicine, or straw polls.
Given that the symbolism of the atheist Protestant movement points in the opposite direction from its message, why do they retain it? Thoughts?