Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Check out Michael Spencer's interview with Christine Wicker, author of the challenging book, The Fall of the Evangelical Nation.

Here are a couple of quotes:
The evidence comes entirely from evangelicals themselves. When I talk about demise, I’m talking about numbers, growth, attitudes and behavior. The preachers often say that the culture has had more impact on the church than the church has had on the culture.

...What worries me is that the split between evangelical ideals and evangelical actions may be getting wider. Not because evangelicals are comfortable being hypocrites but because societal pressures are more intense.

For instance, I’m told that many evangelical kids and single adults come to church on Sunday and are regularly sleeping around or living with people they aren’t married to. Why? Because waiting until you’re married to have sex means that you are very likely never to get married and never to have sex either. Those are the “facts on the ground.”

...For the brand [of Christianity] I like best, you would look among the quieter, more humble, probably the older members of the congregation. I’d look among those with the least power. Not because powerful people can’t be Jesus-shaped, but the temptations are so much greater for them. I suspect it’s easier to become like Jesus if you’re among the “nobodies” of the world.

For more of Ms. Wicker's perspectives, visit her website. I also recommend her book highly. You won't agree with all her comments or interpretations, but the the analysis is one we need to hear and ponder.


Damaris said...

As far as I could tell from her interview, Christine Wicker isn't interested in right or wrong, only in trends and her reaction to them. I expect her book is useful from a sociological point of view but probably useless for people wanting to please God and grow into his image. And Christians today are more in need of a maturing relationship with their Creator than of sociological savvy. To people genuinely seeking God, not just knowledge about what we call the church, I would recommend reading the Desert Fathers instead.

Michael Mercer said...

I found her book a helpful remedy to the triumphalism of the evangelical movement in our day. The statistics she cites show sadly how much of evangelicalism involves "the blind leading the blind."