It used to be such a simple problem. The culture was secular, the church was sacred. That easy dichotomy was probably never really so easy, but the time when we could pretend it was true has long since passed.

But there is still another layer of complexity, and Jamie Smith is helping us understand the approach taken by Charles Taylor with a companion book to Taylor’s “Secular Age.”

Jason Clark reviews Smith’s companion book — “How (not) to be Secular.” Jason writes,

“This book by Smith is now ‘The’ essential companion to Taylor’s work. As Smith puts it, you might move from a predominantly Christian location in the US to a more secular location, from Jerusalem to Babylon so to speak (or in the UK you might move from the relatively Christian landscape of North Ireland to London). When you get to those ‘secular’ locations you will find people are not looking for answers to missing parts of their lives, with questions about God just waiting for you talk about Jesus.

“Instead they have a way of life to make meaning that provides for all they need. The secular world is not like the Mars Hill of St Paul, with people worshipping false Gods, open to the idea of worshipping the true God. Instead we find that in the secular world, people have created a world in which there are no God’s and no need to consider the divine at all. So how do we bear witness in a world like this?”

Jason Clark

and then here you can find an interview with Smith.