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“Evangelicalism in Recession” Again? – Or just another book that speaks of the giants, and giants alone. [blog]

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As I am following Christian trends publications in English language, every year I see a volume or two on the shrinking trends and alarming signs showing that ‘our churches are dying’ and that young people are leaving the faith of their forefathers. When you combine such statistics with the recession that hit in 2008 no wonder why some people see great recession everywhere, inflation of statistics in church memberships and other alarming data.Image

From his perspective, and the book speaks about the situation in the USA, I think that the author (John Dickerson: The Great Evangelical Recession) was rather trying to alert the pastors and other leaders of the situation and to point them toward, as he calls it, the moment of decision making. But, I have some issues the way book is portraying the evangelical movement – especially as the author is taking church attendance to be an indicator of what people believe in, or how many young people lost their faith since they left a local congregation. Does this seem right? If it was not their faith, but a habit inherited from their family, they were not believers in the first instance anyway. I think Bonhoeffer spoke wisely on this issue when he was depicting what he encountered in America as Protestantism without Reformation…

So, churchgoers versus converts. Statistics for the first ones exist, but not so for the second ones. Everyone sees us going to a church, no one knows about the condition of our heart – had it been conditioned yet by Jesus’ unconditioned love, had you turned away from your old ways…

So, yes, there are giants in the land and people are leaving churches. Yet, some join churches and in the midst of it there is a mystery work going on – people are finding Jesus. These are good giants.

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