Quodlibet

Church of the Last Days

by S. M. Hutchens

Liberal churches are dominated and defined by religiously inclined unbelievers, often perplexed at why their numbers are declining despite all their joyful noises, friendly smiles, inclusivity, and welcoming. Some have thought that imitating what they can only perceive as the Jesus-method of more successful churches will help revive their numbers. The cluelessness would be amusing if it weren't so pitiful. They remind one of the R & D Department of Screwtape's hell, which could only regard heaven's successes as some sort of trick, the secret to which it did not yet possess but was working on.

I surmise that the liberal churches, if managed so as to exploit their various religious market niches, need not decline to extinction. In the Congregationalist pastorate, for example, I came to the conclusion that there will always be a taste for the Pilgrim Faith of True Congregationalism, which can be nicely practiced quite apart from Christianity. The Episcopalians, liberal Catholics, and Orthodox have Pride of Place, Ceremony, and plenty of art to sell. The Evangelicals and Charismatics have lots of noise and enthusiasm about "Jesus." None of these, however, in their corrupted manifestations, is obedient to the Real One. They will carry on to merge happily and productively with the Church of Antichrist, that great, happy, inclusive, welcoming, and for once competently led ecumenical project of the Last Days.

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone


more on culture from the online archives

20.8—October 2007

Aliens in Zion

on Why I Can’t Be Just Another Earthman by Louis Markos

32.6—November/December 2019

Listening Up

Historical Truth, Beguiling Stories & Three Kinds of Hearers by Anthony Esolen

22.3—April 2009

Wasted by Watching

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by J. Daryl Charles

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.4—July/August 2019

To Spread His Glory

Four Theses on Christian Education by Donald T. Williams

19.8—October 2006

The Best Fears of Our Lives

on the Good Father’s Quiet Desperation by Russell D. Moore

31.6—November/December 2018

Of Single Importance

on the Church's Response to the Anti-marriage Tide by Diane Woerner