Readability

Oil and Water

by baldilocks

I learned a new word today: syn­cretism.

Syn­cretism[…] is the mix­ing of Chris­tian­ity with some­thing else such that they become a dif­fer­ent gospel. Syn­cretism can take place with a positive-​thinking gospel, a nation­al­ist empha­sis, or emerg­ing cul­ture. Syn­cretism hap­pens more than we might know.

[…]oil_and_water

When any­thing is added to the mes­sage of the gospel, the unique­ness and suf­fi­ciency of Christ is com­pro­mised and another gospel can be cre­ated that is, well, actu­ally not the gospel. In this, obscu­ran­tism and syn­cretism are closely related, each lead­ing to the cre­ation of a false gospel.

Syn­cretism can be most eas­ily seen when two or more starkly con­trast­ing reli­gions are mixed. Around the world, exam­ples are read­ily avail­able where Christ has been preached in places with long and var­i­ous reli­gious tra­di­tions. In many cases, pieces and parts of the tra­di­tional reli­gion will remain while Christ is added to the mix.

[Notes: Obscu­ran­tism is defined in the arti­cle and I spell-​checked the excerpt.]

I was already famil­iar with the con­cept, but did not know it had a spe­cific name. Of course, the prac­tice is almost as old as the Church itself. An exam­ple: when Euro­pean Chris­tians were con­quer­ing and Chris­tian­iz­ing the New World, Africa and Asia, they often bound up Chris­tian­ity with things Euro­pean. A spe­cific exam­ple: when my father was grow­ing up in Kenya — then known as British East Africa — native chil­dren had to have a “Chris­t­ian” name – mean­ing a Euro­pean given name – to attend schools run by the British.

These days, we see this type of heresy — this syn­cretism – tak­ing on other guises: [insert eth­nic group here] Lib­er­a­tion The­olo­gies, Chris­lam, and such. The Enemy is busy!

At any rate, I love being able to assign a word to a known concept.baldilocks

(Thanks to D.B. Harrison)

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

I learned a new word today: syncretism.

Syncretism[…] is the mixing of Christianity with something else such that they become a different gospel. Syncretism can take place with a positive-thinking gospel, a nationalist emphasis, or emerging culture. Syncretism happens more than we might know.

[…]oil_and_water

When anything is added to the message of the gospel, the uniqueness and sufficiency of Christ is compromised and another gospel can be created that is, well, actually not the gospel. In this, obscurantism and syncretism are closely related, each leading to the creation of a false gospel.

Syncretism can be most easily seen when two or more starkly contrasting religions are mixed. Around the world, examples are readily available where Christ has been preached in places with long and various religious traditions. In many cases, pieces and parts of the traditional religion will remain while Christ is added to the mix.

[Notes: Obscurantism is defined in the article and I spell-checked the excerpt.]

I was already familiar with the concept, but did not know it had a specific name. Of course, the practice is almost as old as the Church itself. An example: when European Christians were conquering and Christianizing the New World, Africa and Asia, they often bound up Christianity with things European. A specific example: when my father was growing up in Kenya—then known as British East Africa—native children had to have a “Christian” name–meaning a European given name–to attend schools run by the British.

These days, we see this type of heresy—this syncretism–taking on other guises: [insert ethnic group here] Liberation Theologies, Chrislam, and such. The Enemy is busy!

At any rate, I love being able to assign a word to a known concept.baldilocks

(Thanks to D.B. Harrison)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!