Newspaper/Magazine Articles

Why the New Secularism is just Fundamentalist Atheism in Disguise

This is my latest article in Christian Today….


  1. “The various secular societies are tiny … But they are noisy… Secularism sometimes sounds so reasonable… [but] want the complete neuterisation and privatisation of religion… They will tolerate ‘faith’ providing it is not ‘all defining’ and ‘does not impact others’… Christians need to be aware of this”.

    It is good to have the awareness of elements of this in secularism.

    I have to say, this is true of my experience of some in secularism and of the need to push back against such. One leader in a private and perhaps more honest moment with me stating that in secular activism there is “ainti religious sentiment” and expressed concern at the secular community risking to be “failing to engage with the faith community and potentially being alienated as a biased fringe atheist movement in the process”.

    Having said that I also have had and experience in a secular gathering where more talk was centred on Jesus than is on most churches! Perhaps we are dissimilar in or views with regard to this when you have stated “demonstrates how embarrassingly far from the Gospel, the church has moved”. Although the context was different for your statement on this. I am sure you will correct me if in quoted out of context I have been mis-representative of what you have expressed, but it seems to me that where we are coming from on this is not dissimilar.

    So it does seem to me that there are two sides of the coin. With mentioned secular leader he did also argue that for him “‘the case for’ secular activism … [is] a question of contradicting a commonly held opinion by people like David that that one faith or another is somehow superior to any other moral deviation”. Now I am not saying that I agree with what has been expressed here about David’s approach. But I am picking up on is the sense of coming across as “superiour” rather than as being in service of.

    Of course one must not allow oneself to be directed by opinion but truth but if what the church does is indeed “embarrassingly far form the gospel”, it would seem that there are both challenges and difficulties to be overcome both withint secularism and the church would it not.

    I respectively would caution against tribalism and insensitivity to difference, and would hope that there can be some bridge building between both communities for the good of all. Not all secularists are fundamental atheists and not all Christians come across with a superiour air in my experience.

    For me, whatever difficulties that arise can be overcome in the real power and perfect love of Jesus. And in him there can be peace joy reconciliation with God and with each other. I think we can have some amazing conversations whatever our position is if we have the will and enabling to do so.

  2. Thanks for an excellent, thought provoking article. As a Christian, teaching RME , in a secular environment, I have come to believe that incarnational Christianity is the perhaps the most powerful form of authentic, humble witness to Christ.

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