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The coming evangelical collapse (Whats up with this?)
Christian Science Monitor ^ | March 10, 2009 | Michael Spencer

Posted on 03/10/2009 4:02:24 AM PDT by dalight

Oneida, Ky. - We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bho44; christendom; evangelical; evangelicals; religiousleft
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I just don't get it. Perhaps someone can explain this. Is there any possibility that this fool isn't just pitching this as wishful thinking.
1 posted on 03/10/2009 4:02:25 AM PDT by dalight
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To: dalight

I’m just guessing here, but based on what I’ve heard of their ideology, the “Christian Science” Monitor is mis-named for the first two thirds of their name.


2 posted on 03/10/2009 4:09:01 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (The Fairness Doctrine isn't about "Fairness" - it's about Doctrine.)
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To: dalight

I’m thinking the exact opposite: America will experience another Christian revival - we get those every 50-100 years or so - and the Marxists and communists will be ostracized and pushed into the big liberal cities and eventually move to the friendly shores of North Korea where they can worship Dear Leader and eat tree bark.


3 posted on 03/10/2009 4:12:06 AM PDT by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
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To: dalight

Wow! Now this is something I would like to see!!! Not...

I seriously doubt this kind of thing will ever happen...

Guess I’ll have to read this again to get an idea if this article is designed to inflame, make insane, or just drive people into a ditch...I haven’t figured it out just yet...

So far I am “coo-coo” for coco-puffs...


4 posted on 03/10/2009 4:15:03 AM PDT by stevie_d_64
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To: dalight

“he considers himself a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality.”

______________________________

I’m sorry. But you have to leaugh at how many adjectives the guy takes to describe himself.

And yes....he is obviously wishing the whole evangelical “movement” becomes enlightened...like him.


5 posted on 03/10/2009 4:16:14 AM PDT by 1curiousmind (OBAMANTICIPOINTMENT is palpable)
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To: dalight

Rapture.


6 posted on 03/10/2009 4:17:35 AM PDT by ScoochDude
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To: dalight

From My experience (In Australia) most Evangelical Protestant Churches are neither Evangelical or Protestant.

The people in control of many of these churches are Liberal and many do not hold a faith that is consistent with the Bible. There are of course individual churches who still carry the flag - they tend to be in country areas or in new suburbs where the pastor has been actively involved in promoting the Gospel to the unchurched.

Most of the Inner City prestigious churches are gone because these are considered desireable by Liberals as a good career move.

Mel


7 posted on 03/10/2009 4:20:27 AM PDT by melsec (A Proud Aussie)
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To: 1curiousmind
... a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality

But "barking moonbat" takes fewer keystrokes!

8 posted on 03/10/2009 4:21:14 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("There are more enjoyable ways of going to Hell." ~ St. Bernard)
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To: dalight
This is enemy propaganda... google Tokyo Rose and listen to her recordings... same thing!

LLS

9 posted on 03/10/2009 4:22:59 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my President... NEVER!!!)
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To: dalight
Political evangelical Christianity has not digested, and probably does not believe, John 15:18-19.

I love Evangelical Christians. The nation and the world would be a better place if they were running it.

But, as this author correctly points out, we are entering into a period where the world's hatred of the Lord becomes manifest and wherein ravening wolves throw off their sheep's clothing.

Many Evangelical children are taught that the outward trappings of Christianity will do them some good in this world. When they discover that precisely the opposite is true - that the world hates them because of Jesus - then the question is, does their form of religious upbringing give them a shield, or does it leave them defenseless?

I'm deeply involved in a small Christian school, and I'm very familiar with the issues this author raises. He's asking some good questions.

10 posted on 03/10/2009 4:31:31 AM PDT by Jim Noble (They are willing to kill for socialism...but not to die for it.)
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To: dalight

I didn’t read the whole thing, but Anti-Christian sentiment and real persecution, predicted in Scripture, will drive the Christian-in-name-only out of the flock. Jews and real Christians will then be sought out and persecuted as the cause for all the wrongs and evils of society. There is no reason to doubt this and I predict in 5 years (give or take a couple) it will become almost intolerable to speak the Name of Christ openly. Most authentic churches will be going underground mostly. I pray I am wrong, that America will trun around, but I fear I am not wrong.


11 posted on 03/10/2009 4:34:42 AM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: dalight

I predict revival along with litmus testing and reprimanding, maybe even purging, of the apostates.


12 posted on 03/10/2009 4:40:47 AM PDT by polymuser (Wake up, America!)
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To: All

Aside from the scriptures mentioning a great falling away this outlook logically makes sense. Many evangelicals are flocking to nondenominational “feel good” coffee, jeans and Jesus churches. Others are simply leaving the church or dying off. Modern culture puts evangelicals on the same shelf as Republicans, old school, out of style, intolerant and simply not cool. The media and plethora of corrupt preachers have helped to accelerate the evangelical falling away.

Islam and New Age cults are growing in numbers but the evangelical era is dead until after the Second Coming.

Mike

FWIW I’m the son of a Baptist minister, I wish my outlook was wrong but I’m afraid it’s accurate.


13 posted on 03/10/2009 4:42:13 AM PDT by TSgt (Extreme vitriol and rancorous replies served daily. - Mike W USAF)
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To: dalight

He seems to be talking about trends and that from a secular perspective.

Mostly, he’s a clueless idiot about the topic.

1. It will be worse much sooner but for a much briefer period than he seems to have any understanding of.

2. Christians will essentially be outlawed the world over. The Bible is pretty clear about that in the time of THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

3. THE GREAT TRIBULATION will last 7 years with the worst of it the last half—3.5 years. The Bible’s pretty clear about that.

4. It remains to be seen what sort of “Christians” will be here or what part(s) of THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

5. Regardless, ONCE IT’S OVER ALL THE EVIL DOERS ALL OVER THE PLANET WILL BE UTTERLY WIPED AWAY. EVEN THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR EXISTENCE WILL BE GONE TO LARGELY GONE.

6. At that point, there will no longer be RC’s, Evangelicals, Pentecostals—ALL WILL KNOW THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD FIRMLY IMPLANTED BY GOD ALMIGHTY IN THEIR HEARTS—INTO THE VERY FIBER OF THEIR BEING.

7. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.


14 posted on 03/10/2009 4:42:33 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: MikeWUSAF

The Church is growing according to God’s plan.


15 posted on 03/10/2009 4:44:51 AM PDT by Cedric
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To: dalight

What does he the “coming evangelical collapse?” It’s already happened and it started 40 years ago.


16 posted on 03/10/2009 4:59:38 AM PDT by pctech
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To: Shery

Do you believe this is the expected end-of-time scenario in preparation for the Anti-Christ, or, should we believe that these times were predictable as the spirit of the Anti-Christ seems to be in control already. If that is true, then the Second Appearance of Christ is close at hand. Unfortunately, the circumstances continue to be put into place to persecute Christians as never before. It is too interesting that Christians are the main target of the God-haters. The persecutors do not feel the same hatred for other religions.


17 posted on 03/10/2009 4:59:43 AM PDT by jazzlite (esat)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Yep. But a good number of seminary-trained folks don’t even adhere to basic Biblical truths. Like the uniqueness of the Gospel, and, I daresay, the virgin birth of Christ. Because someone at a “college level” taught them not to.


18 posted on 03/10/2009 5:01:26 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: Quix

You know, while I agree with most of what you said, you lost me in your 2nd sentence when you typed “he’s a clueless idiot.” If you’re going to debate this kind of issue, the personal insults don’t lend very much credibility to your argument. State your opinion, but leave the pesonal stabs out, you’ll be more legitimate if you do.


19 posted on 03/10/2009 5:02:50 AM PDT by pctech
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To: melsec

I fear Liberation theology within the Christian churches.

Too much political activism trying to bring justice to the poor by bashing capitalism and emphazing class war by the rich against the poor.


20 posted on 03/10/2009 5:05:32 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: jazzlite; 444Flyer; TaraP; G8 Diplomat; Diana in Wisconsin; XeniaSt; Esther Ruth
or, should we believe that these times were predictable as the spirit of the Anti-Christ seems to be in control already

The world is definitely heading that way. They will get the anti-Christian leader they always wanted. Or so they thought ... when they figure it out, it will be too late for many of them. And it climaxes with his attempted Final Solution; i.e., the destruction of Israel and the Jew. Zechariah 13 and 14.

That day is surely coming. One of the most basic reasons that mullahs in Iran and those like them will not be dissuaded from pursuing WMD's towards the destruction of Israel.
21 posted on 03/10/2009 5:06:45 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: dalight
I think you can start to see the hostility toward Christianity already and from some surprising places. The blog LGF (Littlegreen Footballs) has almost daily threads on the the evil Christians and their unscientific belief in evolution. The meme is that Christians are 'stupid'.

"Are these people competent enough to run an economy or set the science agenda for the country. The Republicans may be back in congress in a few years but are they ready?"


What used to be a conservative blog has turned into an atheist hatefest toward Christians.
22 posted on 03/10/2009 5:13:06 AM PDT by WaterBoard (Somewhere a Village is Missing it's Socialist.)
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To: sergeantdave

The nondenominational and neo-congregational model is a terrible one for passing down biblical teachings, etc. Whatever survives from one generation survives entirely on complete re-creation by the Holy Spirit in each and every generation. If you look at hierarchy and institutions as the precise and complete reason for the obstruction of the Holy Spirit in mainline churches, you can read that and ask, “Yeah? What’s the problem?” As someone who has observed Holy Spirit-based movements in mainline churches, it’s somewhat terrifying.

Part of the problem is a definition of the Holy Spirit. What these churches define as the sole action of the Holy Spirit is what other churches define as the extraordinary actions of the Holy Spirit. The ordinary means are someone reading the bible, reading St. Augustine, hearing a theologically sound sermon. The extraordinary means are receiving signs such as faith healings, prophecies, etc.

Why is a congregation which relies on extraordinary means regarded by new churches as stronger than the one which relies on ordinary means of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t this like saying that the invalid who must be carried is stronger than the marathon runner? Are the preachers’ prophecies more certainly true than the persistent faith handed down through the centuries?

I read on FR all the time about how Protestant churches are dominated by former Catholics. Well, where are the cradle Protestants? I’ll agree that such a condition is unnerving for Catholicism, but isn’t it all the more terrifying to the Protestants making that boast? If cradle Catholics become Protestants, and cradle Protestants become non-Christian, whose church has the bigger problem?

Protestant splinter denominations (that is, conservative offshoots of mainline traditions which have gone liberal) sound so sure of themselves that such a high portion of their congregants are socially conservative and upholding morality. Don’t they know that the traditions they splintered off from felt the same way a century ago? How are they more immune to false preachers? Because Piper teaches better doctrine than Edwards?


23 posted on 03/10/2009 5:13:40 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dalight

Jesus left His disciples specific instructions. Preach The Gospel to every creature. Heal the sick, cast out devils, “do this in remembrance of Me, baptise in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Why do we keep wandering away from that?

The biggest reason Christianity falters is that Christians aren’t reading the Bible.


24 posted on 03/10/2009 5:57:21 AM PDT by RoadTest (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jer.17:9)
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To: RoadTest

- - - and I’m not paying attention to punctuation.


25 posted on 03/10/2009 5:58:53 AM PDT by RoadTest (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jer.17:9)
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To: 1curiousmind

“But you have to leaugh at how many adjectives the guy takes to describe himself.”

LOL Are you channeling Inspector Clusoe (sp)?


26 posted on 03/10/2009 6:07:52 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: dalight

All he is saying is that the culture of the USA will resemble that of Europe in 20 years.

This is not a tough prediction since all the trends are going that way.

There are no culture wars in Europe. The homosexual nazis have won.


27 posted on 03/10/2009 6:31:07 AM PDT by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: F15Eagle

You nailed it!

LLS


28 posted on 03/10/2009 6:44:44 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my President... NEVER!!!)
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To: dalight

Always set predictions 10 years out. By that time you will have sold your books, made your money, and been forgotten. Hell, even 2 years out can work.


29 posted on 03/10/2009 6:46:32 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: dalight

It’s the Mainline Protestant churches that are in deep trouble because they’re pro-choice and run by democrat liberals at the highest levels. For example, the United Church of Christ became the first mainline Christian denomination to support same-sex marriage. They also ordain gay pastors.

People are leaving the mainline churches for evangelical denominations. I left the LIBERAL PRESBYTERIAN USA to become a member of the conservative Wesleyan denomination. The future of the Protestant churches is with evangelicals, IMO.


30 posted on 03/10/2009 6:48:25 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Tax-chick

... a postevangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality
But “barking moonbat” takes fewer keystrokes!

Better yet, how about “fool”?


31 posted on 03/10/2009 6:53:31 AM PDT by Clioman
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To: dalight
" Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake.

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

Where doees this guy do his research? The reason he thinks evangelicalism is all about politics is because the political angle is the only angle that the NYT considers interesting. Just because the NYT did not write about last week's "Biblically Dealing with Jealously" topic in our Bible Study Group doesn't mean that the millions in such study groups don't exist or have no impact.

To follow the newspapers, you'd never know Bible and Prayer groups even existed, or that most evangelical churches rarely speak about homosexuality or even abortion (which doesn't mean conservative viewpoints aren't there). Church is by far the LEAST political part of my week.

Massive majorities cannot articulate the gospel?

You mean that "Jesus Christ died for me and paid for my sins?" Massive majorities?

Where does this man live???

32 posted on 03/10/2009 7:06:05 AM PDT by cookcounty (President Obama's 3 favorite words: "Crisis" "Catastrophe" "Inherited".)
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To: MikeWUSAF
In what way do "coffee and jeans" negate the Gospel?

My church is full of coffee and jeans and many times we do feel good. Then again we cry over sin, are troubled by the suffering in the world, and speaking on behalf of my maligned brothers, are doing more about it than anyone else that I know of.

33 posted on 03/10/2009 7:12:20 AM PDT by cookcounty (President Obama's 3 favorite words: "Crisis" "Catastrophe" "Inherited".)
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To: dalight

actually i think he is one hundred percent right.

there is no cultural knowledge or understanding of christianity today. it is not embedded in the culture and will deminish expotentially...as the last of the chrisian educated boomers die


34 posted on 03/10/2009 7:22:45 AM PDT by Chickensoup ("Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.")
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To: pctech

I suppose so.

Both mother and a favorite pastor used such terms liberally when warranted.

Sometimes just seems to be the most accurate assertion to make.

Yet, you make a good point. Will prayerfully ponder more.


35 posted on 03/10/2009 7:37:44 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: pctech

How about being like Jesus and calling them

white washed tombs

and a brood of vipers?


36 posted on 03/10/2009 7:38:27 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Larry Lucido

Your an author. Am I right?

The other plan is to reissue your gloom and doom forecasts and change the date of the forecasted blowout by two years. There are several books out that have done that for 20 years. And they continue to sell.


37 posted on 03/10/2009 7:40:47 AM PDT by texmexis best (uency)
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To: sergeantdave

We get a national rivival every ninety years. Like clockwork. Our last revival began in 1953 and a new one is starting but doesn’t yet seem to have an overall form although I have heard from a number of pastors that their children are turning out very charismatic and they think that the next revival may have that character.

The revivals are usually set off by an individual and I don’t yet think we see one on the national stage. Franklin Graham is not the guy, Joel Osteen is not, and Rick Warren is defintely not the pastor to set it off (I thought he was going to solve all the problems in Arica. What happened?).

I think we Evangelicals wil be pleasantly surprised to see it happen and most of us alive today will be there when it takes off. I am really looking forward to it.

Our church is experiencing an influx of new people and it may be the start of the Fourth Great Awakening, but we won’t know for a decade or so.

We have, by the way a very large number of new members who have been previously unchurched. Over half of our new members are in that category and they have not turned out to be Christian Lite, but tend to develop into conservative Christian activists. Extremely busy in Jesus’ work.

I would add that no one would ever accuse my church of being Liberal or non Biblically based. Very conservative, but very activist and highly creative.

So, don’t take the reports of the demise of Christianity too seriously. We win in the end and you can proceed with this certainty in your heart. Get out there and bring people to Jesus.


38 posted on 03/10/2009 8:01:58 AM PDT by texmexis best (uency)
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To: cookcounty

“Where does this man live???”

Probably Connecticut. Or Massachusetts. The article is a dead give-away.


39 posted on 03/10/2009 8:08:16 AM PDT by texmexis best (uency)
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To: cookcounty

Revelation 3: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.


40 posted on 03/10/2009 9:52:12 AM PDT by TSgt (Extreme vitriol and rancorous replies served daily. - Mike W USAF)
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To: Quix
You know it, he did call them things like "a brood of vipers," what we would call "a bunch of snakes," or "white washed tombs," what we would call "hypocrites."

Believe me, I understand why you, or anyone else, would want to use today's vernaculur when describing these people, but we have to stray away from terms like "idiot," "moron," or the types of words that have 4 letters or less. Trust me, I haven't done a very good job myself at times and I've had to repent of such loose usage of verbal insults.

But, we have to maintain a higher standard than those around us as much as we would like to do otherwise. Now, to use terms like Jesus did, or to properly describe a group of people like He did, fire away.

Did I muddy up the waters enough?

41 posted on 03/10/2009 9:54:21 AM PDT by pctech
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To: dalight

I’ll tell you this for sure: the younger believers—in the large, nondenominational, growing, Christian evangelical churches—are growing increasingly liberal.

More interest in trendy things like “green” issues, “social justice,” etc. Kind of like the 1970s “Jesus Movement” Christianity again.


42 posted on 03/10/2009 9:58:51 AM PDT by olivia3boys
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To: dalight
I just don't get it. Perhaps someone can explain this. Is there any possibility that this fool isn't just pitching this as wishful thinking.

I think he's spot on, actually.

Ardent "evangelicals" (whatever the word actually means) have given themselves a very poor reputation -- not just high-profile hypocrisy of the Jimmy Swaggart/Ted Haggard variety, but also (talk to your standard young person for confirmation) a reputation for smug self-righteousness that makes Christianity look bad. It's not that evangelicals are insincere in their faith (they're typically very sincere); rather, it's that they can lack humility.

Case in point: I'm acquainted with some very good, very sincere evangelical Christians whose outlook on the world is essentially, "I'm so happy to be saved, and so sad to see all those people around me who are going to hell." Well ... that's sure to bring new folks to church on Sunday! I really don't think they understand just how off-putting that attitude is.

(I'm just as prone to such lack of humility... but since this is about evangelicals, I point it out in their case especially.)

The author correctly points out that "Evangelicalism" has become somewhat synonymous with "conservative Republican politics." In so doing, evangelicals have made themselves fair game for secular comparison and opposition. And given that Evangelicals don't have anything close to the media firepower of "secularism," they really stand no chance of successfully broadcasting the true meaning of what they're saying.

Note that he doesn't say that Christianity will necessarily be brought down -- he points out that the more traditional and hierarchical Catholic and Orthodox churches will probably benefit as people "come home" to traditions that are much less dependent on the personalities of their leadership.

IMO, the problem with "evangelicals" is really no different from that with any of the other struggling denominations: they've lost the bead on what "being Christian" is all about.

Some denominations have "gone secular," and forgotten the divine basis for Christianity. Others -- like a lot of evangelicals -- have "gone Pharisee," in the sense of protecting their beliefs at the expense of forgetting that one of the major reasons for that the church exists, is to do God's work in the world.

The author may or may not be correct about a coming "persecution," though I suspect he's more right than wrong. But really, the situation is an opportunity for Christianity to return: both to the fundamental Truths on which it's based; and also to restore the humility for which the early Church was known, and which modern churches (perhaps especially evangelicals) have often forgotten.

43 posted on 03/10/2009 10:24:27 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: texmexis best
The revivals are usually set off by an individual and I don’t yet think we see one on the national stage.

My money is on somebody like Rob Bell, whose take on Christianity offers a very refreshing (and yet thoroughly orthodox) change from what "church" generally seems to be about today.

To get a sense of his approach, I strongly suggest that you read a couple of his books: Velvet Elvis and Sex God -- in that order.

44 posted on 03/10/2009 10:34:41 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dalight

The gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ and His church....flail away CSM..... others have tried to squash the Almighty in Centuries past....He is the hammer and they the anvil! Stick with the Winner folks and ignore the subterfuge drivel!


45 posted on 03/10/2009 10:39:15 AM PDT by tflabo
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To: r9etb

I will take a look at those writings. I am reading N. T. Wright at the moment. Very good.


46 posted on 03/10/2009 10:41:31 AM PDT by texmexis best (uency)
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To: dalight

It was reported yesterday that the “survey” was done by a group that is dedicated to secularizing the country.


47 posted on 03/10/2009 10:44:19 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: texmexis best
I am reading N. T. Wright at the moment. Very good.

Agreed about Wright -- a very interesting fellow who is not at all afraid of tackling difficult questions.

And (fwiw), Mr. Bell is also a fan of Mr. Wright -- he refers approvingly to Wright's discussion on the authority of Scripture.

48 posted on 03/10/2009 10:50:30 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dalight

The future belongs to God.

It’s the secular Europeans that are rapidly decreasing in population.

It’s the liberal stand for nothing churches that are disappearing in the US.


49 posted on 03/10/2009 11:11:39 AM PDT by MNDude
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To: dalight

Key statement: “Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress.”

Translation: Author is a big-time liberal.


50 posted on 03/10/2009 2:20:38 PM PDT by Rockitz (This isn't rocket science- follow the money and you'll find truth.)
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