an Evangelical collapse?

Noted blogger Internet Monk generated a firestorm of response — both positive and negative — to his three-part series last week on the coming collapse of Evangelicalism. He offers a perhaps prophetic, perhaps guesswork look at the next few years in North American evangelical Christianity, predicting an imminent and precipitous decline in Evangelical clout, numbers (of adherents, churches), and sprawl. IM divides the series into three separate posts asking three important questions:

Part 1: The Coming Evangelical Collapse, and Why It Is Going to Happen
Part 2: What Will Be Left When Evangelicalism Collapses?
Part 3: Is This A Good Thing?

While I do not agree with all of IM’s conclusions, I do think he’s got his fingers on the pulse of a trend many of us have seen coming for several years. And I agree with his Part 3 assessment that this collapse will not be an altogether bad thing — it could bring the reform that is so desperately needed in the West, where Christianity has largely become indistinguishable from the consumerism, nationalism, and greed of our host culture. It’s important to note that Evangelicalism is not synonymous with orthodox (read: biblical) Christianity — in fact, far from it. So its succumbing to a different, hopefully ancient, form is good news for those of us who have prayed for such an awakening.

But as IM astutely points out, those Evangelicals in places of power, along with the mega-churches, the Christian media, the lobbyists, and all other Christian big-wigs, aren’t going down without a fight. They’ll fight their “culture war” until Evangelicalism breathes its last breath, but if IM is correct, they soon won’t have much of a constituency behind them.

What do you think?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on February 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    A lot of the negative comments on that post were attacking the idea of his prophesying (not as much about what he actually said), but I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as satirical predictions based on concrete evidence. The observations he made are not difficult ones to make. I really like the article.


  2. Posted by Kevin Williams on February 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for the links. I, like you, agree with the foundations of IM’s arguement. The movement is at one side cultural critic, while also cultural consumer. They are ready to fight the “culture wars,” but have allowed the indiviual consumer bent of our nation to stamp their faith. The movement is teaching practice, but they are not inviting the community into the narrative of scripture, so as IM says, the young will not be able to survive in a secular society.

    This conversation draws us back to earlier discussion of “gospel speech.” What is gospel to us, and how does that shine through in our language?


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