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Is Evangelicalism Exhausted?

Posted on September 25th, 2013

This question was uttered by Gordon MacDonald during a recent leadership meeting at New Life. It has caused me to wonder also: “Might it be true?” He noted three things:

  1. Society is unraveling and evangelicalism has few answers.
  2. Research studies, like Reveal, seem to confirm that mega-churches do no grow deep Christians. Those who do go “deeper” with Christ often leave.
  3. 80% of the quotes in evangelical books are from outside our tradition, i.e. from Roman Catholics and the Orthodox believers.

Consider also the following data coming out of recent research studies:

  • Studies by several different organizations suggest that about half of men attending church are involved in pornography (Genung, 2005).
  • A significant minority of self-identified born-again Christians, particularly those under 35, has cohabited, and divorce rates are just as high among born-again Christians as among other groups (Barna Research Group, 2001).
  • An estimated 8 out of 10 youth from evangelical Christian homes walk away from their faith by age 23 (Brown 2006).
  • Only one out of four American Christians study the Bible regularly to find direction for their lives (Gallup, 2003).Yet research has demonstrated that those who read the Bible at least four times a week are less likely to engage in behaviors such as gambling, pornography, getting drunk, and sex outside marriage (Arnold Cole, Ed.D. & Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Ph.D).

It makes one wonder if evangelicalism as we know it really is exhausted. Church history teaches us this won’t be the first time one movement ended and another began. Perhaps God is preparing to do a wonderful, new thing. Let’s have ears to hear what He might be saying.

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