People can keep up with almost everything everywhere provided some media outlet publishes it. There are lots of good things about these developments, but some of them are not so good. Modernization has also blighted our lives by cutting our connections to place and community, elevating our level of anxiety, and greatly diminishing our satisfaction with our jobs.
It has spawned pervasive fear and discontent. It has contributed to the breakdown of the family, robbed our children of their innocence, diluted our ethical values, and blinded us to the reality of God. It has made us shallow. It has made its empty. Our society has lost its center despite all the gains that modernization has brought with it. What are the implications of all of this for the Christian faith?
How can Christians live authentically in this modern culture in which people are rooted? How people have tried to relate to the culture of the day and maintain their Christian faith is to what the next chapter will turn its attention. Modernism has had its effect on faith because people of faith have been deeply affected by modernism.
That is, they have carried over much of the larger convictions of this value system and are trying to live as Christians in it. There have been two overall ways that professing Christians have tried to maintain their faith in the current culture.
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Liberal denominations have tended towards addressing social issues rather than doctrinal issues. Horus ignored the crash of falling marble and the sounds of battle that echoed from all about him. His voiced seemed to echo from all directions at once. The air was full of smoke and the crackling flames cast long shadows. Set was in his element here, as were his allies. I stand with the Queen of Olympus. Together, we might bring order to the chaos you have unleashed. Set laughed. I merely took advantage of it. Nor am I the only one. As we speak, god battles god.
It is our nature. He heard the hiss of sand. You always have been.
I blame Osiris. He indulged your flights of fancy. Starting now. It took Horus a moment to register the meaning of his words, and by then, it was almost too late. He spun as Set lunged from out of the smoke, attempting to skewer him. Even as the simulacrum of his uncle crumbled to sand, a second spawn darted towards him.
Horus whirled, dispatching the second as easily as the first. Send one shadow or a hundred, I will defeat them all as easily as I did these two. There was no reply, only the hiss of the wind-blown sand. More spawn burst from the flames and smoke, hurtling towards Horus from all directions.
Too many to face all at once. He needed to clear the field. With a snap of his powerful wings, Horus stirred the air about himself into gale-forced winds, shredding the closest spawn in the process.
Those that remained were hurled away from him. A cry of pain drew his attention. He turned as a flare of solar energy pierced the smoke. With a single flap of his wings, he was aloft and swooping through the columns of Olympus, before the remaining spawn could recover.
Horus spied the sun god almost immediately.
The sand-simulacrums sprang at him from every direction, preventing the old god from concentrating his fierce light in any one place. A lesser being would have been overcome immediately. But Ra was as strong as he was ancient, and he swept his sceptre about in a fiery arc, holding his attackers at bay.
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Light blazed from his flesh as he fought, growing brighter with every passing moment. Several spawn went up like candles, but the rest pressed forward, dog-piling Ra. Horus folded his wings and fell towards the fray like a thunderbolt. But even as he did so, some instinct compelled to stretch his wings and bank away from the struggle. As he swooped away, there was a blinding flare of light and heat, followed by a thunderous detonation. Ra knelt panting at the centre of a crater of melted marble, smoke rising from his lean frame. As he made to rise, Set — the true Set — leapt gracefully through the flames, his blade hissing down in a lethal arc.
Horus shot forward and knocked the blow aside, embedding the blade into the floor. Set rolled to his feet and crouched, eyes blazing and crimson with fury. It was liberation! Why can you not see that? I cannot allow it. I will not! Set howled and bounded to Horus with bestial speed, his form wreathed in a blood-red radiance. Weaponless, he leapt onto Horus, and they smashed against a pillar. Set leaned close, eyes blazing. Horus jerked forward, and their skulls connected with a crash. Horus shook his head, trying to clear it.
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Hovering above the fray, Thanatos watched the confrontation below. He considered the matter with cool pragmatism.
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He owned nothing to Set, save possibly the courtesy due a fellow traveller. Their goals were only tangentially aligned, after all. And a death was a death, in the end. One dead god was as pleasing as another. Yet, the need for allies was still pressing. And Discordia was too erratic to serve as a figurehead, much as she might disagree.
In the coming war, Set would be invaluable in prolonging the conflict, if nothing else. Wars needed leaders.
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