(now that I have my daughter down and to sleep...)
I guess I wanted to touch on the "hollow" comment.
I think the hollowness would be an apt comment depending upon what church one enters. To me, most baptist churches and the left wing mainstream protestant denominations are fairly hollow. These are for different reasons.
Baptist theology can generally be construed as being thematic in its exposition. The answers are rarely nuanced and are always fairly simple and straightfoward. While this may be great and appealing to many, it leaves the more scholarly mind bereft of the requisite detailed explanation to meet the crush of critical application. The result is that the same core patchwork of answers and viewpoints can be distilled from almost any question put to a baptist. To me, this results in a rather hollow ringing thematic theology that by its very nature fails to take into consideration any number fundamentally important considerations.
The same can be said of the once fairly rich mainstream protestant traditions found on many street corners (united methodist church, presbyterian church of the united states, and perhaps no where moreso than the episcopalian church). Most of the churches within these organizations, along with their governing hierarchy, have been co-opted and hijacked by fairly secular left wing groups who see the role of religion as some kind of social-charity 501(c)(3) bent on doing worldly good. Consequently, when I visit a church where the above is applicable, I also get the hollow feeling.
I cannot say the same for traditions with rich, dynamic, internally rational and nuanced systematic approaches to many questions. I would group here the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Jewish traditions who remain loyal to their roots (so I am excising reformed judaism).
Now, obviously there are going to be outliers. I know I've met more than my fair share of hollow Catholic churches that have successfully been co-opted by secular forces.
Just throwing this out there for reaction.
Last edited by neoinarien on Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : few grammar error corrections)