No doubt, some will view the contrast here between "contemporary" and "apostolic" forms of Christianity as too simplistic. And to some degree, there's truth in that objection. Reality is always more messy than the ideal types we construct to try and get a handle on it.
However, if it's true that the Episcopal Church drinks a bit too deeply from the wells of such counterfeit gospels as the Therapeutic, Judgmentless, and Social-Club gospels (among others), then this contrast is at least worth pondering.
Bracketing for the moment whether one is better than the other, which one of the following seems more familiar in the preaching and teaching you typically encounter in the Episcopal Church?
- Descent: we pull Christ down into our mess and ask him to fix it for us.
- "Christ for us."
- Focus on the realization of human aspirations (self-realization).
- Content with a "relationship" with Christ.
- Ascent: we strive to grow in the image and likeness of Christ.
- "Christ in us."
- Focus on the deification of humanity (theosis).
- Through waging war against the passions (e.g., through fasting and ascetic struggle), strives to achieve union with Christ.