A rumor has been floated that Christianity is dying. Certain bean counters have gone to and fro in the earth and asked some daffy questions, conscientiously recorded the answers they got from a sampling of the American rabble, counted up all the little check marks, and concluded that Death is patiently rapping on the Evangelical church door.
Don’t I wish.
I can appreciate that some of you might be troubled by this. Where are you going to get some sense of Evangelicalism’s position on thigh gap, Downton Abbey, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, what the Avengers movie tells us about marriage and family, and what is a pastoral response to people pursuing elective cosmetic surgery?
Try to maintain a heart as untroubled as your brain.
Fortunately for you there is a contending school of thought that holds that Evangelicalism is still growing. It is not—as a percentage—growing as fast as the general population, but it is still growing numerically. I’m convinced that many of you will find this reassuring. You’ll still be able to collect Evangelical opinions on thigh gap, Downton Abbey, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, what the Avengers movie tells us about marriage and family, and what a pastoral response should be to people pursuing elective cosmetic surgery.
But I wonder if we will ever see a serious conversation about the health of the Church.
If you are a thoughtful person, if you believe it is important to observe the change of epochs, if you think we are, in part, the consequences of our thoughts and decisions and that the past should be instructive, or if you just think it’s clever not to repeat your mistakes, you will want to watch this video.
Beginning tomorrow and continuing through Friday, a leadership summit will be held at the Northland International Overarching Entity. You might well wonder if the name for this summit was arrived at amid levity and pot-valiancy. My impression is that though it is plausible, it is not true.
Folks at the Southern Baptist seminary decided against being in cahoots with the Northland entity at pretty much every level, it seems, adding one more fascinating chapter to this story of God’s work in the Wisconsin woods. As of now, Daniel Patz, the board, and the administration “continue to evaluate”.
I have read—and I regard this as nothing more than a wild rumor at this point—that Northland anticipates a student body of roughly twelve in the Fall. If this so, I expect the soccer program could well survive.
Oh, and Wednesday evening there will be a concert with the folk-pop duo: The Gray Havens.
It is difficult to imagine any religion less appealing, less attractive, less edifying than contemporary Christianity. And I say this as one who grew up in it; it’s not as though I bring a naïve, alien’s repugnance to it. This used to be my home.
I suppose it is theoretically possible for us to make things worse: I can think of a few remaining things that haven’t been sufficiently desecrated, Evangelicals haven’t yet turned all the world’s entertainments into illustrations of redemption, not quite every square inch has been colonized by the shallowest minds, certainly we could squeeze a few more weekday ditties into the Sunday Morning Cirque du Fils, with a minimum of effort a few more of our ignoble desires could be attested in God’s word…but if it weren’t for Islam, Christianity would look like the least healthy worldview one might choose from a rather unattractive list.
And now this religion appears to have huddled up into fuggy little focus groups devoted to publishing their own flair in god-thinking. One of those groups is the Gospel Coalition, and this is what the locals are thinking these days.
You’ll notice they are heavy on celebrities, snapshots, soundbites, and twitter feeds. This is, I guess, the Coalition’s idea of doing the work of the ministry. Take a good, long, hard look at it and peer into your future.
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