Sep 20, 2012

Your Individual Faith Experience Matters

About This Video

Looking back, the High Calling pulled a vintage video of Dr. Peter Berger on ABC Directions in 1978, talking about evangelicals and their emphasis on the importance of individual experiences of faith.

It's fascinating to look back on a time when evangelicals were a relatively new phenomenon...and to see that we wrestled with the same questions then as we do now. It is strange to me, being born well after this video was filmed, to think of a time when Christianity in America didn't, at least in some sense, emphasize the individual. Sometimes it's worth it to think about where we've come from, and possibly, where we're going. 

This is the second of a three-part miniseries looking back at some early conversations about faith, work, and culture. The first, an interview with Dr. Michael Novak on the subject of religion in business, can be found here.

TRANSCRIPTION: If I may say something to the same phrase, obviously this is alien to my own religious experience and heritage. I can't connect with this very easily, but what I find very interesting and terribly appealing about the evangelicals, is that they emphasize the religious experience of individuals, experience which is real. And that's terribly refreshing. And I think it's particularly important in our situation, because our situation—the 20th Century, perhaps a little earlier than 20th Century, has been a crisis of external religious authorities. And inevitably people turn, unless they have nowhere to turn, they turn toward their own experience. And I find it very refreshing that there is this group for whom individual real religious experience is so central. I think we can all learn from that.

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