I am in the process of reading John W de Gruchy's book Being Human. de Gruchy reflects on the impact Scripture Union had on his spiritual formation and conversion and compares this experience to "the rather tepid Christianity that many found in their home congregations where the preaching and worship seldom made any connection with our experience" (pg 67). He goes on to say, "This remains true today as many young people - and also not so young - look beyond mainline denominations for a more authentic, lively and meaningful Christian experience. Others again are attracted to more Catholic forms of Christianity, with their apparent certainty of faith and morality, and the mystery and tangibility of their liturgy" (pg 67-68).
If de Gruchy's analysis is correct, then the challenge for the Church is to offer a Faith experience that maintains mystery and certainty in creative juxtaposition. It is this seemingly contradictory mix that develops an environment that is authentic, lively, and meaningful.
9 May 2007