The blogosphere has offered plenty o' chatter on George Barna's latest book, Revolution. For favorable comment, read my occasional-email-pal Andrew Jones (full disclosure: the Tall Skinny Kiwi once named me "Best Emerging Critic Ever"). For unfavorable comment, read Sam Storms or the re-posts by Kevin Michael Cawley (full disclosure: I ate lunch with Sam once and agreed with virtually everything he said, which must make him wise).
In my review in Christianity Today, I first tried to summarize the book's thesis:
Storm the barricades! According to researcher George Barna, we're in the midst of a "spiritual revolution that is reshaping Christianity, personal faith, corporate religious experience, and the moral contours of the nation."
Who's leading the coup d'?tat? Some 20 million people, dubbed Revolutionaries, who live "a first-century lifestyle based on faith, goodness, love, generosity, kindness, and simplicity" and who "zealously pursue an intimate relationship with God."If true, this is amazing news, the best for American Christians in generations. But before we break out the party poppers, we should note that, like every revolution, this one has a loser: the local church.Unlike the Great Awakenings, which brought people into the church, this new movement "entails drawing people away from reliance upon a local church into a deeper connection with and reliance upon God." Already "millions of believers have stopped going to church," so Barna expects that in 20 years "only about one-third of the population will rely upon a local congregation as the primary or exclusive means for experiencing and expressing theirfaith." Down will go the number of churches, donations to churches, and the cultural influence of churches. Are you ...