“It would appear that these days a sense of the importance of dogmatics in broad Christian circles is stronger than it has been for a long while. This state of affairs is bound up with two things: growing secularization and higher levels of education. Many more church members than in the past ask for theological schooling of some kind. In the secularized cliimate in which they live they are challenged from without and from within to account for what they believe. Theological books that speak to this need sell in numbers of copies that were inconceivable in the past.” Hendrikus Berkhof, Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics

The picture above is of a church that is now a night club. This sort of thing is pretty common in parts of England and Scotland. John Ferguson, Sinclair Ferguson’s son, was a student at WTS the same time I was. We were friendly, not the closests of friends but I’d consider John a casual friend. John wants to spend his life revitalizing the churches in Scotland. A bold and costly call, if he and others like him cross your mind please lift them up in prayer.

John recalled to me some of the churches he’d seen like this one that were now night clubs which are indelible imprints of the loss of social and cultural public influence by the churches over there. Secularization isn’t good and it won’t be part of the new heavens and new earth that will be consumated in Christ’ return, but that doesn’t mean that secularization can’t carry with it hidden blessings. I believe Berkhof captures one of the blessings it can bring, the challenge to know what we believe and to be able to articulate your faith not as the dominant narrative of culture but as the supressed and oppressed narrative. To articulate the good news of Christ in an age where the notion of the man seems mildly appealing but the presence of his people is typically recieved with hesitations and concerns of fundamentalist by-gone fervors and ideals.

Secularization can carry a hidden blessing.