The separation of value from fact is reflected in the separation of private from public life that is one of the characteristics of our culture. And, as I shall argue, the response of the Christian churches – or at the least of the Protestant churches – to the challenge of the Enlightenment was to accept the dichotomy and withdraw into the private sector. Having lost the battle to control education, and having been badly battered in its encounter with modern science, Christianity in its Protestant form has largely accepted relegation to the private sector, where it can influence the choice of values by those who take this option. By doing so, it has secured for itself a continuing place, at the cost of surrendering the crucial field. As an option for the private field, as the protagonist for certain values, Christianity can enjoy considerate success. Churches can grow. People can be encouraged… All this can happen. And yet the claim, the awesome and winsome claim of Jesus Christ to be alone the Lord of all the world, the light that alone shows the whole reality as it really is, the life that alone endures forever – this claim is effectively silenced.
Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: the Gospel and Western culture, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986, page 19, (italics are mine). Quote courtesy of Paul Windsor.