I’m proposing a new liberal theology.
It is liberal in that it affirms the liberal state, which means freedom of religion, the rejection of unitary theopolitics. It rejects theocracy and the postliberal idealisation of theocracy.
It is not sympathetic to ‘liberal theology’ in another sense – the idea that religion must be modernised on rational-humanist grounds.
It does not affirm ‘liberalism’ in general, which is too wide and contradictory to be affirmed. But nor should ‘liberalism’ be denigrated, for at its heart is the liberal state.
The new liberal theology affirms the liberal state not just with the normal shrug, but in strangely strong terms. It says that something new happens in modernity – a fuller revelation of God’s will, in the political sphere. God decrees a new politics of liberty, in place of the old ideal of theopolitical unity, and this entails the seeming weakening of his church, echoing the kenosis of Christ – it will now reject the old desire for cultural supremacy, and affirm its co-existence with secularism, in a creative tension or dialectic. The liberal state is God’s gift to modernity.