Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lost confidence in the Bible will lead to Evangelical collapse

Reports Michael Spencer of the Christian Science Monitor:

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

Here is Spencer's reasoning:
1. Evangelicals have believed in causes more than a faith.
2. The younger generation has no orthodoxy; they do not know why they should obey scripture.
3. Churches are fragile, dying, or money-driven.
4. Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.
5. The good the Evangelicals want to do will be seen as bad by many.
6. Evangelicals find themselves unable to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.
7. Money will dry up.

Tony Perkins would disagree on the last point: "If the economy continues downward, more people will be looking upward."
So would Will Donohue: "When people feel threatened--either through national security or economic crisis, such as we are experiencing now--they begin to rethink some things."

Or, if trends continue, the next generation won't be giving up evangelism, they will be giving up religion. Dare I say that the problem may not be with its public image, but with its basic precepts?

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