Still, the thing about this article that makes me chuckle is the idea that it's the God of conservative churches who is dying. Statistically-speaking those are the vibrant ones that still grow. Church attendance is down across all denominations and affiliations, but the mainlines (and I work at a healthy one) are the ones caught in the death spiral. And, once you expand your view away from first-world America, to Majority World Christianity in South America, Africa, China, it is the vibrant, vital, almighty, classic God that is being preached, taught, believed in, and converted to. Only cultural myopia could lead someone to think that the future of Christianity and belief in God looks like a modern-day, North American, Process-preaching Episcopal church.
Alright, this is the part where everybody hates me. Blessings!”
Elliot Blu on Mar 8, 2013 at 17:02:28
“What you miss from your statistics is that the evolution of society, as it is further developed, naturally leads away from a belief in a god like the god of Christianity. That is what you are witness to in America, but do not yet see in your underdeveloped countries. The more education there is and the pushing to have intellectual integrity instead of "blind as a bat" faith, the more secularism you will see and less religion. If Christianity is to survive, it needs to reconcile a few things and stop white washing its history and start being honest about how 1+1 does not equal 2. America now knows what 1+1 equals and so they are not so quick to fall for the answer of 3 the church has been giving for the past 2000 years, no matter how threatening you make hell sound. Too much is chalked up as mystery and yet those with intellectual integrity know that it is quite possible to have an amazing spiritual life without the confines of the dogma of the church and without the frustrations of unanswered questions because the church doesn't want to take a good look in the mirror and acknowledge it has majorly screwed some theology up. I don't hate you, just feel sorry for you.”
MyNameIsJames on Mar 7, 2013 at 14:39:37
“The evolution of thought on God and the scriptures is now accelerating very quickly within the US. Information that was once the domain of high minded academics is being popularized, not only in BOOKS but also across social media and all other media outlets. These ideas include very pointed criticism at the sources and traditional interpretation of the scripture, and they are penetrating evangelical circles. Culturally the conservative/evangelical Church is being pressured from outside and inside. The Milliennial Generation of Christians have already decided that they will not align themselves with the current worldview of conservative-evangelical Christianity. Their elders cannot successfully transmit their ideas onto the younger generation of conservative-evangelicals
You are correct in your observation about growth of charismatic evangelical Christianity in the developing world. However, I believe that disillusionment will grow equally as quickly after a period of time because much of the growth of this type of Christianity is based upon the high expectation of a young and eager generation (3rd World) that their Christian beliefs will substantially improve their material and social conditions as their nations modernize. This particular brand of Christianity is firmly rooted in "American" materialism and neo-conservative worldview.
I suspect that this "gospel" that over-promises will also under-deliver and create the same type of disenchantment that Christians underwent in Europe decades ago, and that conservative-evangelical Church are experiencing today.”
“Interesting article. I myself voted and had my biblical, historical, and theological reasons for disagreeing with Rynerson on this point. Still, this article just kinda said, "You know, it's great you have your cute little biblical reasons and stuff, but you're just doing that because you're a privileged white guy who can do that sort of thing." You went through some of his reasoning, and acknowledged a couple of points and then, said that none of his fancy theology and biblical reasoning really matters because I can undercut your whole argument based on your privileged status.
That's not helpful theological engagement either--it's a cheap, postmodern, identity-politics, end-run move around a real argument.”