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Evangelicalism is Decadent. So Now What?
A new essay from me
Today at The Gospel Coalition I have an essay arguing that we can and should renew evangelicalism. The first thing we must do is acknowledge that it is decadent. Evangelical Christianity in the US is fractured and stagnant, and languishes over intramural purity tests where it should be marked by dynamic confrontation of the age.
Here’s an excerpt:
Over the past few years, it’s been difficult for me to avoid thinking that decadence accurately describes many elements of contemporary evangelicalism. While evangelical churches are certainly discipling and evangelizing with Spirit-filled power throughout America and the world, the feeling among many major evangelical institutions and groups has been increasing frustration and uncertainty. Pressed in multiple directions by crises unthinkable only a decade ago, a distressing number of evangelical pastors are leaving the ministry or thinking strongly about it.
To be sure, the last two years in particular have been punishing on many evangelicals. An unprecedented global pandemic has permanently reshaped economies and cultures around the world. The intersection of the pandemic with a national presidential election in 2020 created almost indescribable complexities for churches and evangelical groups trying to chart a way forward. And all the while, secular culture continues pressing on the very nature and identity of the church through spiritually malformative technologies, attacks on religious liberty, and rising resentment and distrust in a fractured public square.
These are extraordinarily difficult challenges, but they’re challenges that evangelicals have the resources to answer. And yet it’s difficult to feel energized and hopeful about the evangelical efforts to answer them thus far.