And a Happy New Year to you all, Dear Reader (sic, singular - I am expecting the plurality are at the beach NOT wasting their time on blogs).
I saw something like the title above on a Tweet recently and thought it pretty negative in late December, looking ahead to the year ahead as a "battle." But taking the title in a slightly different way, and thinking Christianly, 2016 looks like it must be reckoned with as a year of continuing fisticuffs and fierce fighting. Daesh remains to be defeated. And whether it is defeated or not, there is a battle going on re understanding of 'true Islam', how Islam is to be welcomed and accommodated (or not) in the West. Speaking of the West, culture wars in the West continue. Arguments within churches abound. In my own church arguments will continue about Christchurch cathedral in the Square and about same sex blessings (see May 2016 General Synod).
But today I want to simply draw your attention to a formidable essay by Ross Douthat on "A Crisis of Conservative Catholicism" to be published in First Things this month.
I suggest it is worth reading on two grounds.
(1) For all Christians interested in the significance of Pope Francis for 21st century Roman Catholicism, then this is a "must read."
(2) Although Douthat (as a conservative Catholic) is focused on the crisis of conservative Catholicism, it does not take much brainpower - dulled as it may be by post-Christmas recovery from overeating and New Year somnambulance by the beach - to read his magisterial offering as an account of a larger crisis in 21st century global Christianity.