Guest / Limited Access /

The Internet is abuzz with the latest prognostications about "the coming evangelical collapse." This is the substance of three blog posts over at Internet Monk (a.k.a. Michael Spencer), who predicts said collapse in ten years. When his thoughts got picked up and condensed by the Christian Science Monitor and then the Drudge Report — well, you can just imagine the electronic excitement.

The title of Spencer's posts spoils the ending; still, many of the details are interesting. I've made many of the same observations in this column. For example, Spencer writes, "Expect evangelicalism as a whole to look more and more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth-oriented megachurches that have defined success. The determination to follow in the methodological steps of numerically successful churches will be greater than ever. The result will be, in the main, a departure from doctrine to more and more emphasis on relevance, motivation and personal success." My only caveat here is to wonder if this is a future or present reality.

Some predictions I warm up to because of my own biases, but in the end, they don't seem to be founded on anything substantive. For example, "Two of the beneficiaries of the coming evangelical collapse will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been steadily entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue." Spencer might have added Anglicanism as a beneficiary. As an Anglican, I wish it were true. But in my experience, the number of evangelicals entering these communions is not as great as those leaving these communions for evangelical faith. I don't know of any studies that have, or even can, measure this phenomenon accurately. So we might have to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
Subscriber Access Only The Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
Michael Horton's message to restless believers: Stay put, and build the church.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickThe Softer Face of Calvinism
The Softer Face of Calvinism
Reformed theology is more irenic and diverse than you think, says theologian Oliver Crisp.
Comments
Christianity Today
On the Lasting Evangelical Survival
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.