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Why Christianity is Losing America (Ecumenical)
First Things ^ | December 28, 2011 | Joe Carter

Posted on 12/28/2011 2:05:21 PM PST by NYer

Why is the sun setting on the West? Vishal Mangalwadi argues that is is due to one factor: the brand Christianity.

In November 2011, I visited two classes at a Christian university in North America. I asked both: “How many of you would still believe Christianity if you found out tomorrow that Christianity was not true. That is: God never became a man; Jesus did not die for our sin; or, that he did not rise from the dead?”

Twelve hands went up in each class of about 25 and 45 students. These sincere and devout students had grown up in Christian homes, gone to church all their lives and studied in Christian schools. Some had been in that Christian university for three years! They respected their elders who taught them that Christianity was all about faith with little concern for truth.

Christianity lost America because 20th-century evangelicalism branded itself as the party of faith. Secularism (science, university, media) became the party of truth. This is one reason why 70% Christian youth give up meaningful involvement with the church when they grow up.

In the second class, only one in four students perceived Christianity as disconnected with truth. This was because my host professor had taught them to believe because Christianity is true. Some professors and pastors do teach that, yet the “truth-less” brand is common perception because it is reinforced by most pastors, Bible teachers, and some Christian professors.

I asked both classes if they thought secular universities knew truth. Overwhelmingly the answer was positive. When I asked them to name one secular professor who claims to know the truth, both classes named Stephen Hawking. (No student, however, had read Hawking’s latest book which demolishes the God of Western logic but not the God who has revealed Himself.) Secularism acquired the “Truth” brand by default because evangelicalism began defining Church’s mission as cultivating Faith, not promoting knowledge of Truth (compare 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Tim 2:25; Titus 1:1, etc.).

Read more . . .


TOPICS: Apologetics; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: baptist; bltheology; catholic; christianity; culturalmarxism; evangelical; iam; iamthetruth; jesuschrist; jw; liberalchristians; socialgospel; thetruthproject

1 posted on 12/28/2011 2:05:27 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Please take a moment to read the entire article at the link posted above, before posting to this thread. Thank you!


2 posted on 12/28/2011 2:06:43 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Please take a moment to read the entire article at the link posted above, before posting to this thread. Thank you!


3 posted on 12/28/2011 2:14:19 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
Why Christianity is Losing America

Hmmmm, Freemasons?

4 posted on 12/28/2011 2:16:12 PM PST by OldCorps
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To: NYer

“The university exists because the Church was committed to knowing and believing truth.”

BIG Bingo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Unfortunately, those who are taught today’s revised history have NO knowledge of this.)


5 posted on 12/28/2011 2:16:17 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: NYer
I love the way C. S. Lewis combines faith, logic, and truth:

“When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonising it with some particular truths which are imbedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole… If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. …And this is to me the final test. This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. . . But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world: the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific point of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

6 posted on 12/28/2011 2:17:47 PM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: NYer

Note to thread: Don’t bother reading, don’t bother commenting.


7 posted on 12/28/2011 2:22:44 PM PST by DManA
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To: NYer

Also self-sufficiency is at the root of unbelief.

If you’re self-sufficient, you don’t need God.


8 posted on 12/28/2011 2:38:33 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: DManA

Sorry, bro. But I do have one comment. There is “truth” here in that the church has abandoned emphasizing truth. The truth that Jesus is Lord, that He IS truth, etc.

I highly advise everyone here to find “The Truth Project” and watch all 12 incredibly professional videos on how the church and Christians have lost their influence because we have failed to present THE TRUTH, and then we have failed to live it (i.e., really believe it so that it so effects our lives that unbelievers see us as wholly different and desire what we have....)


9 posted on 12/28/2011 2:42:35 PM PST by Arlis (.)
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To: NYer
30,000+ different protestant denominations, Two, three, five or Seven Sacraments, take your pick. Ordination of women (even by the Baptists for crying out loud). Homosexual marriages (again even the Baptists.) Openly Gay clergy in "committed" relationships. And Poor (read nonexistent in some cases) cathecesis even in the Catholic Church.

What else was anyone expecting when we kicked God out of the schools and put everything else ahead of Him in our list of personal priorities?

10 posted on 12/28/2011 2:42:40 PM PST by verga (We get what we tolerate and increase that which we reward)
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To: NYer
It's an interesting article. I found it strange, though, that he started out with such an idiotic question as,

“How many of you would still believe Christianity if you found out tomorrow that Christianity was not true. That is: God never became a man; Jesus did not die for our sin; or, that he did not rise from the dead?”

I assume that by "if you found out ..." means "if it were proved beyond reasonable doubt ...". However, anyone with the slightest knowledge of history, or even a bit of common sense, would realize that's not possible, and therefore would put the questioner to the test, rather than dignifying the absurd premise.

Try to prove that "God never became a man" in any scientific or legal sense of proof. Fail. Historical evidence is pretty strong that the man Christianity identifies as Jesus lived and died, but try to "prove" that He either died for our sins, or did not. Epic fail.

The article makes some good points, but he might have mentioned that one of the problems of American Christianity and of American Christians is their propensity to be polite and tolerant toward those perpetrating blithering nonsense. If only Anoreth or Tom had been in one of the classes the author addressed ...

11 posted on 12/28/2011 2:45:26 PM PST by Tax-chick (Two women in one house ... and one of 'em a redhead!)
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To: Jonty30

“self-sufficiency”, Yep that one thought roots back to original sin, be like God’s yourself, thus you do need God. Man (in general) has yet to learn.


12 posted on 12/28/2011 2:52:27 PM PST by jafojeffsurf (Return to the Constitution)
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To: Arlis

“The Truth Project”, Yes very Good!


13 posted on 12/28/2011 2:53:51 PM PST by jafojeffsurf (Return to the Constitution)
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To: Tax-chick

A thing is to remember is that science deals only with what is measurable and repeatable. Living things, such as us or the meanest microbe, must get it right the first time, or no prize.


14 posted on 12/28/2011 2:56:40 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS
A thing is to remember is that science deals only with what is measurable and repeatable. Living things, such as us or the meanest microbe, must get it right the first time, or no prize.

Casting the apple of discord amongst the thread...

What about AGW? It's not science. It's not repeatable. And yet its practitioners have many well-funded and prestigious posts.

Or, for that matter, much of medicine must deal with statistical results, since there are too many variables to control, even if we knew them all, and and efficacious means to maintain control.

Or (heh heh heh) "computer" science or "political" science.

All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost
But if your work gives the "wrong" answer
at grant time they'll tell you "GET LOST!"

Cheers!

15 posted on 12/28/2011 3:16:34 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: NYer

There are many liberals who would have you believe that Christianity prevents them from being happy on their sin.


16 posted on 12/28/2011 3:20:21 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: Pollster1
I love the way C. S. Lewis combines faith, logic, and truth:

THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
by Immanuel Kant - 1781

Reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
indelibly imprinted the knowledge
that Science is an edifice of Reason,

but Science cannot explain Reason,
and Reason must be accepted A Priori,
as present within the Human Mind
before one can accept Reason as True
and hence accept Science as Valid

Reason must be accepted as valid BEFORE
Science can be accepted as valid
This is an A Priori condition
and, if you will, must be accepted in Faith,
or no other valid inferences can be made derivative to it

Secular Humanists get the cart before the Horse
Accepting Science as True without
realizing on what it is derivative
That Truth is knowable in the first place

C.S. Lewis had a very different path
to accepting Christianity as true,
but his path to this requires reading
Surprised By Joy to understand

17 posted on 12/28/2011 3:37:43 PM PST by HangnJudge
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To: Tax-chick

I can prove that Jesus died for my sins.

Jesus = 1 (1 God 1 Faith 1 Baptism 1 Lord etc)
Me = Sinner (I have a sinful nature within - trust me)

I am a living soul because I can worship God. I can worship God because I love him.

Me + Jesus = Forgiven because he gave his blood for my sins

The life is in the blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

I apologize to you if this proof is making you angry.

I can prove that there is simply no hope without Jesus Christ. Life is worthless without a savior.

I’m going to live for God come what may.

And thanks to every soldier out there who has sacrificed for freedom.

Because freedom isn’t free and I can prove that too.


18 posted on 12/28/2011 3:50:51 PM PST by shineon
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To: shineon

19 posted on 12/28/2011 3:56:22 PM PST by shineon
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To: shineon

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs


20 posted on 12/28/2011 4:26:29 PM PST by shineon
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To: NYer

Another problem is Evangelicalism’s rejection of reason in the face of the onslaught of a neo-pagan philosophy that it could not counter.


21 posted on 12/28/2011 4:34:54 PM PST by rzman21
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To: grey_whiskers; RobbyS

Modern materialist reasoning has left many people adrift in a sea of illogic. “Scientisticists” start with the contention that only that is “true” which can be empirically demonstrated or proved with self-contained logic ... and then they insist that spontaneous generation, evolutionary biology, theoretical physics, or (on the fringes) Anthropogenic Global Climate Change is “true,” while asking, “Don’t you believe in Science?!?”

There are many things - even crucial things, to essay a weak pun - which cannot be proved beyond argument either with human reason or through human observation. And yet, some of those things must be true, and other, contradictory, things must be false. The article’s author is right that Christianity stands on the literal accuracy of its historical facts and spiritual contentions. If those claims are not absolutely true, we might as well all play Jedi. However, he’s profoundly incorrect in implying that one can “find out” that the claims of Christianity are not true, in the way one can “find out” about gravity or water-borne disease.


22 posted on 12/28/2011 4:42:29 PM PST by Tax-chick (Two women in one house ... and one of 'em a redhead!)
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To: NYer

Christianity is losing not just America, but the entire West. The most immediate cause is successful subversion by the movement currently known as cultural marxism. These breaches were codified for mainstream Protestants at the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 and for Catholics at the Vatican II Council. Subtle surrenders at these councils gradually sapped the will of the faithful to uphold their respective traditions. The newer Evangelical movement has filled some of the Christian vacuum by combining reclaimed portions of mainstream Protestantism with modern secular Zionism.


23 posted on 12/28/2011 4:45:05 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: shineon; Tax-chick

I’m all for rational proofs of the faith, but I don’t think you understand how logic works.

You wrote:

“I can prove that Jesus died for my sins.”

Okiedokie. Let’s see if you can do it.

“Jesus = 1 (1 God 1 Faith 1 Baptism 1 Lord etc)
Me = Sinner (I have a sinful nature within - trust me)”

Uh, you’re already telling me that you CAN’T PROVE SOMETHING if you’re saying “trust me” rather than actually providing any proof for your claims.

“I am a living soul because I can worship God.”

That might prove that you exist, but it doesn’t prove God exists.

“I can worship God because I love him.”

That still doesn’t show that God exists.

“Me + Jesus = Forgiven because he gave his blood for my sins”

And your irrefutable truth for this is? If you use any scriptural verses, you will have already failed. People need faith to believe in scripture for what it says about Christ. Something that takes faith cannot be proved by argument.

“The life is in the blood.”

So, you’re now contradicting yourself? Earlier you said, “I am a living soul because I can worship God.” Yet, now you have said life is in the blood. If souls exist (which you have not yet proved), then they don’t have blood because they have no physicality at all. Thus, according to your own logic, souls cannot be living. This is why logical arguments like this should be left to the professionals like St. Thomas Aquinas.

“Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”

According to what or whom? Again, using scripture will not help you. God actually can remit sins any way He chooses because He’s God. What you are claiming is that God cannot do something that is not self-contradictory. You are limiting God.

If you want to actually learn how to do this correctly, you will have to read Summa Contra Gentiles http://www.amazon.com/Summa-Contra-Gentiles-Book-One/dp/026801678X


24 posted on 12/28/2011 5:03:07 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998; shineon

I was just going to leave it, because it was obvious that my point, such as it was, had been completely missed.


25 posted on 12/28/2011 5:12:28 PM PST by Tax-chick (Two women in one house ... and one of 'em a redhead!)
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To: NYer

The first question is ridicules. It’s called faith for a reason. Although the more faith you have, or allow yourself to have, God reveals himself in a very real way.


26 posted on 12/28/2011 5:25:53 PM PST by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: verga

And Poor (read nonexistent in some cases) cathecesis even in the Catholic Church

Absolutely no catechesis in the Evangilical commmunity and then wonder why their children leave the faith especially when they have no idea why or what they believe.


28 posted on 12/28/2011 7:32:14 PM PST by scbison
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To: vladimir998

How about we try 2 out of three?


29 posted on 12/28/2011 7:51:59 PM PST by shineon
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To: Tax-chick

You are making the same argument that Lewis Mumford made more than 40 years ago. Scientists adhere unconsciously to certain dogmas, yet claim to be free of all dogma. They hope to reduce all knowledge to mathematical formulas. Rigidly they try to fit information into such formulas. Richard Feynman, one of the great physicists of the 20th centuries, noted such rigidity even in highly intelligent colleagues. He himself was the classic hands-on persons, intrigued by the puzzles he rand across, and sometimes inventing his own versions of mathematics to solve such puzzles. For him, math was a tool. For them it was the received truth. For such people, “Data,” the fictional robot, was the essential man, and the brains a kind of super computer. Except that the brain is able to solve puzzles with such incomplete data that would cause the most powerful computer to stall. Sometimes, of course, the solutions are wrong, but if codified they take on an authority that keeps us from seeing truth. But sometimes, what seems like fantasy, is a truth that logic alone could not produce.


30 posted on 12/28/2011 10:52:16 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: mas cerveza por favor

That is why the new evangelization of the west will be coming from those Christians coming from nations that the western Christians USED to send to evangelize, from the global south.


31 posted on 12/29/2011 3:13:16 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

mark for later reading


32 posted on 12/29/2011 3:33:35 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: RobbyS

Excellent observations. Perhaps it’s a testimony to the human religious instinct that so many people conceive of “science” as a body of received dogma, requiring the assent of faith, rather than as a procedure for evaluating the accuracy of fact statements.


33 posted on 12/29/2011 4:37:42 AM PST by Tax-chick (Two women in one house ... and one of 'em a redhead!)
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To: verga

What else was anyone expecting when we kicked God out of the schools and put everything else ahead of Him in our list of personal priorities?


Amen to that, plus the fact that just like in the time of Jesus, religion has taken the place of truth.


34 posted on 12/29/2011 5:33:08 AM PST by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: NYer

The phenomenon this author describes was written about extensively by Francis Schaeffer over 40 years ago. I highly recommend Schaeffer’s “Trilogy” for any reader. His work “How than shall we live” is probably most accessible to a general audience. Since Schaeffer deals with Christian philosophy there should be nothing objectionable to Cathohlics in most of his writings. Just as Catholic writer Peter Kreeft appeals to many Protestant readers because his works on Christian philosophy avoid doctrinal issues for the most part.


35 posted on 12/29/2011 6:35:55 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Thank you for the reading suggestion


36 posted on 12/29/2011 8:26:30 AM PST by verga (We get what we tolerate and increase that which we reward)
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To: vladimir998
Here's a proof that's hard to contradict. Why bother to pay amazon.com for a book I can get for free right here?

Tom's book

37 posted on 12/29/2011 4:01:14 PM PST by shineon
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To: shineon

I found this interesting in the first paragraph:

However, it is true, in divine matters the natural reason has its failings.


38 posted on 12/30/2011 8:09:53 AM PST by shineon
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To: Tax-chick

Modern materialist reasoning has left many people adrift in a sea of illogic. “Scientisticists” start with the contention that only that is “true” which can be empirically demonstrated or proved with self-contained logic ... and then they insist that spontaneous generation, evolutionary biology, theoretical physics, or (on the fringes) Anthropogenic Global Climate Change is “true,” while asking, “Don’t you believe in Science?!?”

>>This trend goes back to at least the 14th century and the rise of Nominalism, which undergirds all Protestant, Modernist, and Postmodernist thought.

It created a dualism between faith and reason in Western culture that has never been healed. I think the lack of this sort of dualism in Islam is why secularism has had a very difficult time breaking down Islamic societies.


39 posted on 12/30/2011 9:33:45 AM PST by rzman21
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