Time for a real curve ball, which we can put into our category of Munzerian Xtianity: beset by ‘new atheist’ attack dogs, a community of Munzerians can easily rebrand Xtianity for atheists. How can that be? In fact much of the pop theism that entered the monotheistic stream with Judaism and Xtianity was most probably seen as a failure of monotheism to develop properly as intended. Intended: by whom? We don’t know the answer to that, but for myself I suspect that the monotheistic strain was intended to oppose all forms of idolatry, and the vulgar theism that came into existence here was filled with its own subtle strain of the idolatrous: in fact, it wasn’t much different from a pagan Olympus reduced to one (male) god. The results had their characteristic vigor and relative coherence but in the long term the devolution of the ‘god’ idea into another idolatrous abuse was inevitable.
So the understanding of theology here must grant the efficacious challenge of the first enlightenment atheists and then the early secular humanists, seeing also the inherent limitations of the emerging viewpoint, but whose larger perspective is a complete failure, and sadly the marxist world inherited that contracted atheism. So an Xtian Munzerian might ironically adopt an ‘atheism’ that could challenge the shallowness of such as the new atheism, and also the degraded theism of too much Xtian churching. It is not a personal opinion here: the coming age of thought will not put up with childish theism at the core of Xtianity, so the die is cast. The point is that theism/atheism are so incoherent a form of silent contemplation is the last option. We see signs that the original, which we no longer have, was reluctant to enter the discourse of pop theism and simply pointed to a silent symbol, unuttered: IHVH. And the larger reality is that an atheist dialectic will inexorably lead to further negations that will upgrade beyond the ‘god’ concept of infants to something real for the future.
In any case the evidence of the Axial Age shows just how far off the mark secular biblical criticism is, beyond its correct exposure of many mythological aspects. So neither theists or atheists have so far penetrated the mystery.
This Xtian ‘atheism’ is thus nothing of the kind, but a discourse free of infantile Santa Claus theology and able to communicate with a large argument of now entropic secularists.
Still, the point is to accept the tradition for what it is, to start, and to recast it for a new culture of postcapitalism. It seems counterintuitive after the legacy of marxism on religion, but the reality is that this can outlast the classy gibberish now current in the likes of Zizek and the other stand up comedians on the left.
Xtians have a strange potential for the future, springing from the Reformation, but they must move to earn the future with a more sophisticated theology (one already attempted unsuccessfully by such figures as Tillich in the encounter with German philosophy). As time goes by they may slowly leave the Axial Age historicism to its place in a classic saga and move to a new of social activism in a post-theological discourse that is not mired in the contracted positivism (and bad dialectics) of the degenerating marxist left.