Essay: ON BEING A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN

"WHAT is bothering me is the question what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today." So wrote the young Lutheran Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his Berlin prison cell in April 1944, one year before he was executed by the SS for complicity in the plots against Hitler's life. It is a question that today—for more complicated reasons—concerns countless thousands of U.S. churchgoers, who see about them a Christianity in the midst of change, confusion and disarray.

For Roman Catholics, the religious revolution set loose by the Second Vatican Council has changed many traditional patterns of worship...