that Newsweek cover story

Newsweek has a cover story on “the End of Christian America.” here is an optimistic bit from the article:

Let’s be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian. A third of Americans say they are born again; this figure, along with the decline of politically moderate-to liberal mainline Protestants, led the ARIS authors to note that “these trends … suggest a movement towards more conservative beliefs and particularly to a more ‘evangelical’ outlook among Christians.” With rising numbers of Hispanic immigrants bolstering the Roman Catholic Church in America, and given the popularity of Pentecostalism, a rapidly growing Christian milieu in the United States and globally, there is no doubt that the nation remains vibrantly religious—far more so, for instance, than Europe.

Al Mohler’s somber response is here and concludes:

I appreciate the care, respect, and insight that mark this essay by Jon Meacham. I also appreciated our conversation about an issue that concerns us both. Still, I hope I did not reflect too much gloom in my analysis. This much I know — Jesus Christ is Lord, and His kingdom is forever. Our proper Christian response to this new challenge is not gloom, but concern. And our first concern must be to see that the Gospel is preached as Good News to the perishing — including all those in post-Christian America.

Here is Dan Kimball’s response which includes this:

So I think maybe there is a decline of a certain shape and sub-culture(s) of “Christian America” as the article states. But at the same time, there is a rising and surging of missional church leaders, church planters, and Christians who have already recognized that we are in a “post-Christian” America as the article states. But that recognition has simply fueled creativity, prayer and passion for mission and because God is God, people are coming to a saving faith in Jesus. Churches may die out in geographic places, but the Spirit is alive and powerful and changing lives, even though certain local churches may close their doors or types of churches lose their effectiveness. So it is ironically quite an exciting time period in the midst of this gloomy title and cover. It feels as though some expressions of church and Christianity maybe is fading out. But at the same time there is excitement and energy and hope as churches who have already recognized what this article says about being in a “post-Christian” country – and have made changes to become churches on mission.

courtesy of Vitamin Z

related statistic from page 89 of Skye Jethani’s book The Divine Commodity via Vitamin Z:

Today, half of all churchgoers in the United States attend the largest 10 percent of churches. What often goes unoticed, however, are the fifty smaller churches that close their doors every week.

what is happening around us? what does it mean for the future of our country? what can we do about it, if anything?


One Response

  1. […] Go read both articles above. Then ponder how they are related to the Newsweek story on the Decline of Christian America that I linked to below. […]

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