Against many expectations, religion has not vanished from Western culture. People are troubled and fascinated in equal measure by this new visibility and are unsure whether it is right to (re)incorporate the vocabulary of faith into our common life.
This unprecedented co-existence of religion and secularism is sometimes termed the “postsecular,” and in this book Elaine Graham considers some of its implications for the public witness of Christianity. She argues that everyone, from church leaders, theologians, local activists, and campaigners, needs to learn again how to “speak Christian” in these contexts. They need to articulate credible theological justifications for their involvement in public life and to justify the very relevance of their faith to a culture that no longer grants automatic privilege or credence.
This entails a retrieval of the ancient practice of apologetics, in order to encourage and equip Christians to defend and commend their core principles and convictions in public. This “new apologetics” involves discerning the actions of God in the world, participating in the praxis of God's mission and bearing witness in word and deed. Rather than being an adversarial or argumentative process, this is an invitation to dialogue and to the rejuvenation of our public life.