The future of the evangelical movement

By: John Longhurst
Winnipeg Free Press – PRINT EDITION
Posted: 03/22/2009 1:00 AM

Is the evangelical movement in the U.S. about to collapse? In a much-discussed and much-debated article in the Christian Science Monitor, Michael Spencer says yes.

In the article, Spencer — who bills himself as “a post-evangelical reformation Christian in search of a Jesus-shaped spirituality” — offered up a number of reasons why evangelicalism in that country is doomed.

One reason is the way American evangelicals identified with the culture war and with political conservatism. This, he says, has proved to be “a very costly mistake… the evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses… we fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.”

Another reason is that, despite investing heavily in Christian colleges and spending billions “on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media,” evangelicals have failed to pass faith on to their youth.

The evangelical movement, Spencer says, has “produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it… coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.”

But even though he predicts the collapse of his church, Spencer doesn’t see it as a bad thing.

“Evangelicalism doesn’t need a bailout,” he writes, using the language of the current economic crisis. “Much of it needs a funeral.”

continue reading: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/faith/the-future-of-the-evangelical-movement-41647397.html?viewAllComments=y


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