Monday, March 16, 2009

"The Coming Evangelical Collapse"

A shell of its former self

Continuing our theological theme of late, here's a thought-provoking piece I stumbled upon over at the Christian Science Monitor the other day.

Thought-provoking and, in light of last week's ARIS survey, timely.
"This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good."
The first of his bullet points had me assuming this was coming from the Left, but after reading the rest (and allusions to Francis Schaeffer, Gene Edward Veith and Doug Wilson on the man's blog) clearly it's not.

The author is Michael Spencer, a.k.a. iMonk. I sense a subtle "too spiritual for politics" vibe, which always drives me nuts, it looks like a worthy blog, chuck-full solid logic and genuine faith.


Anonymous said...

I would suspect this gent comes from an "emergent" background... which certainly always puts on a good (initial) impression. There are a few comments that make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, though.

Splash said...

Actually, he considers himself a church traditionalist of the Reformed persuasion. Definitely not emergent.

And as he says in the article:

"The emerging church will largely vanish from the evangelical landscape, becoming part of the small segment of progressive mainline Protestants that remain true to the liberal vision."

Looks like he also wrote on the matter back in 2006:

K said...

I'm not impressed. Maybe someone should point out to him that the tent thumping evangelicals managed to survive and even thrive in the Soviet Union. They're harder to kill by the government because they don't have a centralized church system to co-opt and intimidate.

The second thing I would point out is that this country was founded by persecuted sects escaping to find someplace else they could worship in peace. The present principles of "conservatism" try to keep that freedom thing intact so that freedom of worship can remain. It's a shame that seems to get his panties in a bunch.

Splash said...

Great points, K. I tend to agree with him that hostility is going to increase, but I agree with you that persecution will only be good for the church.

Then again, that's kind of his overall point, isn't it? That something stronger will rise from the ashes of our shallow modern excuse for the Church.

On his blog, he seems to reserve the bulk of his harsh words for Liberals over Conservatives, but I'm with you in that any non-constructive critique of the political right rubs me the wrong way.