In the book "The Day America Told the Truth," James Patterson and Peter Kim reveal that in 1989 only 22 percent of the American population expressed confidence in the leadership of organized religion. This represents a 55 percent drop since 1974. Recent findings by George Barna have been a bit more encouraging, but times have clearly changed.
Today, media personalities hold center stage in the public trust, while Christian communicators are left standing in the wings. During the 1950s, Billy Graham could stand in front of thousands and proclaim, "The Bible says," and establish a sense of authority. Saying that today is more likely to cripple your credibility. Most contemporary communicators of the Christian message feel this tension.
Every week I stand before people who are not Christians and try to tell them about the Christian faith. With most of them, I have one shot to establish any kind of credibility. The pressure intensifies with the knowledge they are actively looking for a way to ...1