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Christianity Thomas on 08 Jun 2010 12:51 am

Thank God – The coming evangelical collapse

Let us hope this is true:

The coming evangelical collapse

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the “Protestant” 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

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.

31 Responses to “Thank God – The coming evangelical collapse”

  1. on 08 Jun 2010 at 4:43 pm 1.Observer said …

    Michael Spencer was an interesting fellow. After reading this piece, I am not any more convinced evangelicalism will collapse around its own vacuity and idiocy than McDonald’s will collapse around the analogous delectability and nutritional value of its menu. I do believe he correctly forecasts the persistence and likely growth of the jabbering-pissing-in-the-aisles Christians I cherish, as well as the horrifying growth of the greatest enemy of human progress to date, the Roman Catholic Church. (Of course, the new crop of priests seem to be taking up the banner of the 70s-mid80s Latin American rank-and-file clergy so this could be a welcome turn of events.)

    What is most interesting is how Spencer never could reconcile his schizophrenic world-view: Self-described Christian, and right-wing Libertarian. Ultimately, this must be attributed to the deeply flawed education he received in the intellectual sewers, that is Southern Baptist Seminaries, where he studied.

  2. on 09 Jun 2010 at 6:38 pm 2.Horatio said …

    Buster is back and displaying more hatred and anger. The BP must be up!
    And he once again whalers in the sewers of his various ad hominem fallacies. None worth responding to I might add.

    Evangelicals as a group of denominations may be declining I do agree. However, more individuals would rather be part of churches that do not tie into the denominational arms thus the growth in community churches and non-denominational churches. This is a trend that will see more growth in the coming years.

  3. on 09 Jun 2010 at 6:44 pm 3.Observer said …

    HOR- “The BP must be up!” What?

    Just providing a bit of clearheaded perspective on a wasted life.

  4. on 10 Jun 2010 at 1:48 pm 4.GODS HELPER48561 said …

    god is great everything he has done and will do is great so before you go make up a website bout 50 resons why god is fake think again cuz ur lucky that god loves otherwise ud be struck down by lightning rite when you born so to the man or women who created this website keep in mind that I’m 13 and ready to fight for my religion and I’ll be pposting till you block me and don’t worry I’ll spread good word bout ur site to many christians hail the almighty god he will over power evil and throw you down like rain from the sky during a vast hurricane hitting ur direction and y not believe I mean you already read the bible to know all of this right or are you a cheap phony who just hates religion and feeds on the facts around you bout god and uses it against him and why havnt you wiped that mud out of ur eyes to see that god is rite in front of you but he loves you to much to turn visiable cuz he is so perfect so great and how he is so unsinfull and so great that if you saw him ud be on your knees praying for forrgiveness as you pass away from looking at his perfect images why ur eyes burn to hell cuz you can’t see the light god wants you to go near and how ur to far so owner of this site hope you see this cuz you need a change of thought then ul see that he’s there and we need to get there but it’s cuz unbelivers like you that push us away from it and at least try to pray to god but mean it with full heart cuz if you don’t well don’t expect an awnser and you probly never do this but one thing I always know is it’s never to hard to try cuz you might never get another chance and I fell uncomfertable now on this website but I’ll be back even if you block me there’s many ways to differrent internet connections you possed non believers

  5. on 10 Jun 2010 at 3:41 pm 5.MrQ said …

    Wow,
    Looks like a Jesus Boot Camp graduate is posting their deep thoughts. Don’t worry god’s lil’ helper, I doubt anyone will block your missives on this site. Maybe you’ll convert a few of the unwashed infidel heathens with your infallible logic and wisdom.

  6. on 10 Jun 2010 at 8:43 pm 6.Marcus said …

    godsleper48561

    Do you think god might be able to help you with punctuation? And maybe spelling? Next time you go to church why not pray that he gives you an instant, basic grasp of the English language. Being all-powerful, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind obliging. You deluded fuckwit.

  7. on 17 Jun 2010 at 2:07 pm 7.Martin said …

    Gods Helper, I see that you have the ability to write a lot of words down. Your rant makes as much sense as this sentence.

    Musta beeta loopy dante until the day when argol beesta goes to nada doopy

    Lot of words, NO sense. Without reason and thought, nothing you write will be taken seriously. Sorry.

  8. on 17 Jun 2010 at 2:09 pm 8.Martin said …

    If any of you want to really see the virulence that “Christians” can spew, go to Richard Dawkins’ site and read some of the letters people have written to him. WOW is all I could say. The language and the structure is aweful. For a good laugh, please go there.

  9. on 17 Jun 2010 at 2:21 pm 9.Horatio said …

    Martin & Q

    GH is not a real christian, he is a troll who post here to make the Christians look bad. It is so obvious every time he posts. I use to think Severin was the same animal. You may not know that so I cut you some slack.

    As for angry Christians, go to any religious site, AIG, Ankerberg, Focus on the family and check out the angry rants of the atheist. They are nastier and meaner.

    Marcus.

    Will you be correcting Severin’s grammar now? Watch out, Mr Q doesn’t approve. Mr Q. where are you for the rescue?

  10. on 20 Jun 2010 at 3:16 am 10.Believer said …

    Why don’t you all take a look at your hands and try to explain why your fingerprints are unlike anyone else in the world. Explain this phenomenon? There are so many reasons to believe in God rather than not. How foolish to think the Creator of the universe owes you more proof than what is already around you.

    God created all things and is all knowing unlike you so deal with your lack of understanding. Does this make some sense? You cannot understand His existance and therefore faith must be put into action on your part. I suggest you start believing! What do you have to lose here? A life that is empty and void filled with arguments just because you don’t understand in your limited mind. Or a life worth believing in something that you can’t see and is the source of all things.

  11. on 20 Jun 2010 at 9:43 am 11.Severin said …

    9 Horatio
    “I use to think Severin was the same animal.”

    Are you, microbe, able to “use to think”? I never realized microbes have a proper organ for that.

    “Will you be correcting Severin’s grammar now?”
    I excused for my bad English many times, and explained I was self-thaught, and learnt some English relatively recently, in my 50, by myself.
    As I can see, everybody understands what I say in spite of that fact. I do hope it is not on the level of “Me Tarzan you Jane”.

    GH is probably an American, and it is right to criticise HIS English (not from me, of course, but I do not understand him more than 50%).
    I would be terrified if I wrote or spoke MY language that way – something like slang, or what?

  12. on 20 Jun 2010 at 3:51 pm 12.Martin said …

    “I suggest you start believing! What do you have to lose here?”

    First two thoughts. Did you know that ALL microprocessors possess their very own “fingerprint” which happens to occur by chance, not design. Is this an argument that mankind is now god, since we create the microchips? Or, perhaps not. Using the human body as an argument for the existence of god is a shaky argument at best. Our DNA is prone to faults, our vision is among the poorest of all living creatures, we are fairly weak by most animal standards, our teeth do not replicate, nor do our limbs, and while being bipedal has it’s advantages, it has created an aweful design for giving birth. Humans have the greatest dificulty giving birth of any species in the animal kingdom, and even with our medical advances, the human animal STILL has one of the highest mortality rates for both its young and its females, at the time of birth.

    One would think that if we are part of “intelligent” design, our designer would have more pride in his work that the human body. I know if I designed a product for the marketplace with as many flaws as the human body has, there would be a recall by now. Surely, I would be working on upgrades to my design by now.

    Now, the argument that I quoted above, is fraught with trouble. Why not believe, what do I have to lose? I’ll tell you, if I were to suddenly revert to the totalitarian Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or any number of other religions, I would be giving up an aweful LOT. For starters, I would lose my mind, my true free will, and my self-respect. I’m sure there are greater arguments from men who are far more intelligent than I am, but that is my reason.

  13. on 20 Jun 2010 at 3:59 pm 13.Martin said …

    Horatio, I agree that atheists can be quite demonstrative in their language, BUT, there is ONE huge difference. Atheists do not claim to follow a god who teaches that this kind of behavior is wrong. I was a Christian for decades, and if I had used that language in talking about my belief system, I would have been ashamed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not condone that language from anyone for any reason, except perhaps in a heated battle. But, certainly NEVER from a Christian attempting to protect his religious belief system.

    So, to sum it up, I agree with you there are bad folks all around. As to attempting to correct anyone’s grammar, I usually do not, unless it is totally absurd. Severin, I knew was not from the US the first time I read a post from him. And, IF he attempted to write a five paragraph rant against relgion without punctuation, I would indeed be critical of it, yes.

  14. on 20 Jun 2010 at 4:28 pm 14.Martin said …

    Believer, I posted this statement on another blog, but thought it was good enough to post here as well. So it is attributed to me.

    “I have a confession, I do believe that we have a creator, just not a deity. I believe that we were created over the course of time, by forces that are natural not supernatural. That’s all I’m saying. I do not believe that our creator is a sentient being, but is the process from billions of years of combinations of natural events.

    This explaination of how I came into being does not worry me or make my existence any less phenomenal or precious. I saw the birth of two children and a grandson, and I am in awe of nature and all that beauty has to offer. I do not need to assign this to a being greater than myself, I do not need a god or a father figure. I am a moral being because I chose to be, not because of fear of punishment or the reward of an afterlife. To me, LIFE is my reward, the love I have for my wife and children, for my planet, for my fellow man, for the beauty of everything, simply is enough for me.”

    I am confused as to why the above statement threatens so many Christians. It is as if you are offended in some way that I reject your faith, and embrace my own view of the cosmos. I struggle every day with trying to understand this animosity that so many with faith seem to have toward me. Richard Dawkins, in his book “The God Delusion” explains it so well in his foreword when he says that atheists and theists somehow have been convinced that religion and faith deserves to be treated with kid gloves, with a level of politeness and kindness. I say that those of faith should return the same to those of us without faith. Then, and only then, can the debate be held on a common ground.

  15. on 20 Jun 2010 at 9:50 pm 15.state of ..? said …

    ” Atheists do not claim to follow a god who teaches that this kind of behavior is wrong. ”

    Martin, allow me to ask you.. do you think it is right to curse at a mere kid?, as Marcus did(if true that he is 13years of age). The act of a man, regardless of religion/belief system, is indeed barbaric.

  16. on 21 Jun 2010 at 12:11 am 16.Martin said …

    State of? I agree that there is not place for cursing a child, certainly not, but I was privy to the funeral of a 16 year old who was a homosexual and died of AIDS, and there were Christians outside the church with signs that claimed his death was an act of god, that he deserved to die…. I ask you, is this correct behavior for Christians? See, I see that as wrong because MY morals come from a sense of right and wrong based on common sense, NOT on some fallacious intepretation of a 2000 year old book.

  17. on 23 Jun 2010 at 6:35 pm 17.Andrew said …

    In physics there is no place for God as physics examines surrounding reality and God does not belong to it.

  18. on 24 Jun 2010 at 1:36 am 18.Biff said …

    “MY morals come from a sense of right and wrong based on common sense”

    So you would be Ok with EVERYONE using their own determination for morals? So if someone believes homosexuals are evil and immoral that would be OK then? Maybe that is THEIR common sense?

    Your system is flawed and badly

  19. on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:36 am 19.Severin said …

    18 Biff
    “Your system is flawed and badly”

    Don’t we have laws? And much better ones than any biblical law!
    Laws are not my or your system, they are a system accepted by majority, and everyone has to obey them
    .
    In the Bible, god says: “Thou shalt not kill”, but on the other place he orders people to kill other people, including their own sons and daughters, to masacre babies….
    Shall we obey THAT laws?
    HOW can biblical laws be relvant for us?
    WHAT moral rules can we find in the Bible?

    Example how the allmighty god sacrifices his own son to please HIMSELF?
    Is THAT the morals someone expects me to accept and to follow?

  20. on 25 Jun 2010 at 1:08 pm 20.Lou said …

    Yep, the Sharia law is common sense for many Muslims therefore it must be OK. Killing Jews was just common sense for the Nazis, therefore THAT was OK.

    I see in America they are arresting Christians for passing out Gospel pamphlets where Muslims congregate. The stealing of Constitutional rights when someone’s common sense dictates that it is OK is now acceptable.

    Situational ethics NEVER works.

  21. on 25 Jun 2010 at 4:42 pm 21.Observer said …

    Something for Lou, Biff, and other theists out there…

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/the-anosognosics-dilemma-somethings-wrong-but-youll-never-know-what-it-is-part-5/

    This may or not make sense to you. Likely, you will try to twist it so to turn it around to point at us folks really trying to get the answers to the real world.

  22. on 25 Jun 2010 at 5:37 pm 22.Severin said …

    20 Lou
    “Yep, the Sharia law is common sense for many Muslims therefore it must be OK.”

    1. I did not say it.
    2. What is the difference between sharia and biblical laws?

  23. on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:14 pm 23.Lou said …

    Yes biff, everyone is for common sense morality as long as everyone follows their morality. You are right it does not work. There must be the ultimate law giver or it becomes mass chaos. However, that is what some would want. Out politburo is insuring that no crisis goes wasted.

  24. on 26 Jun 2010 at 6:14 am 24.Severin said …

    23 Lou
    “There must be the ultimate law giver or it becomes mass chaos.”

    WHICH law? Elighten us!

  25. on 26 Jun 2010 at 6:37 am 25.Severin said …

    23 Lou
    “There must be the ultimate law giver or it becomes mass chaos.“

    Is god your ultimate „law giver“?
    Is it perhaps the biblical god (or Zeus or Allah?)?
    Is the Bible his „law“?
    Do we have to follow the Biblical laws not to get “mass chaos”?

    In that case we have to kill each woman we find non-virgin in the first night of marriage, by stoning her on her father’s treshold.
    In that case we have to stone each person working on holyday.
    We have to kill desobediant children.
    We are free to SELL our daughters to strangers, to overcome financial crisis.
    Etc, etc…

    WHAT is the difference between biblical laws and sharia laws?
    Why don’t you tell us, instead of writing empty unargumented claims?

  26. on 26 Jun 2010 at 4:08 pm 26.Biff said …

    Lou,

    You should read O’s link. Actually, for once it is quite good. It just goes to show how illogical the atheist beliefs really are. When an individual can see the obvious design in creation and still deny the creator it is fascinating. It keeps the whole cluelessness, self-deception and denial paradigm in tact as found in the NY Times Op-ed.

    To go with creation/creator you can add law/law-giver.

  27. on 26 Jun 2010 at 7:17 pm 27.Martin said …

    “It just goes to show how illogical the atheist beliefs really are. When an individual can see the obvious design in creation and still deny the creator it is fascinating. It keeps the whole cluelessness, self-deception and denial paradigm in tact as found in the NY Times Op-ed.”

    REALLY? There is design in creation? Where, name me one thing that shows design, beyond natural selection. Remember, natural selection is a four billion year process, potentially, so miniscule changes each thousand years, is possible.

    I await your answer… one example is all I ask.

  28. on 26 Jun 2010 at 7:20 pm 28.Martin said …

    So, what you folks are saying is that without god there is no morals? No laws?? Funny thing is that MOST of what is in the old testament is now considered, at the very least immoral, and in some cases completely illegal. So where did this ultimate lawgiver come from and what exactly did he/she give us??? Certainly NOT the laws of the old testament, and PLEASE don’t use the ten commandment argument, lame, sorry.

  29. on 26 Jun 2010 at 7:27 pm 29.Martin said …

    “MY morals come from a sense of right and wrong based on common sense”

    So you would be Ok with EVERYONE using their own determination for morals? So if someone believes homosexuals are evil and immoral that would be OK then? Maybe that is THEIR common sense?

    Your system is flawed and badly”

    Understand there is a BIG difference between MORAL and Laws. EVERYONE uses his or her own determination for morals, because morals can not be legislated. Morally, you are fine to think that homosexuals are immoral, that is a belief system, NOT a legal system.. So it’s fine if you want to think homosexuals are immoral, but is is fine too for homosexuals to think that you are an idiot and a fool. It’s called an opinion, and as long as you do not impede on another’s RIGHTS, you can have whatever morals YOU want. God did not give you those morals, more than likely you got them from your parents or your pastor. IF you want to call it common sense, then that’s your right.

    MY system is actually far less flawed than yours is. In my system, I make moral decisions based on what I see as right and wrong, what makes sense. YOU on the other hand make your MORAL decisions based on a belief system that comes from ancient times, and hasn’t been updated in 2000+ years ago. Not that is PROGRESS..NOT!

  30. on 26 Jun 2010 at 7:29 pm 30.Martin said …

    “Yes biff, everyone is for common sense morality as long as everyone follows their morality. You are right it does not work. There must be the ultimate law giver or it becomes mass chaos. However, that is what some would want. Out politburo is insuring that no crisis goes wasted.”

    Again, LOU, you like most believers, mistake the difference between moral laws and the legal system. MOST of what you are against, Morally, isn’t against the laws of the land. Atheists do not seek chaos, in fact most of us are pretty intelligent and scientific, and see the benefits in keeping chaos out of the equation of life. Wrong again, my friend.

  31. on 29 Nov 2010 at 10:41 pm 31.MYSELF said …

    Are humans not an evolving creature? Our minds change like the wind and weather, and we continue to create more grand things than we did the day before! So perhaps evangelism wil collapse. Who is to say? I really doubt any of us have the clairvoyance enough to say that for certain. The first one that has ESP has every right to yell at me about that one.

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