Way back when, we discussed Newsweek’s cover story on ‘The Decline and Fall of Christian America.’ Since then many others have blogged on their takes of what this all means. Clearly the studies and statistics don’t show many positives occurring within the Christian faith in America. Yet, is all this really horrible news? I find myself wondering about that quite often.
Soong-Chan Rah, a professor at North Park Seminary, shared some of his thoughts on the subject and I really enjoyed his perspective:
Instead of the collapse of evangelicalism, we are actually seeing the revival of American Christianity in a vastly different form. Evangelicalism has been consistently portrayed in the media as a group of white, upper-middle class, suburban, Republicans. Is it any wonder that the black church will oftentimes refuse this designation? Or that other ethnic minority Christians feel marginalized from the very community that shares their basic values and beliefs?
But now there is a new era for Christianity in America. A Next Evangelicalism — an evangelicalism that crosses across racial and ethnic lines with a shared value system rather than a political agenda. Evangelicalism is not dead, it is being redefined by a new constituency – hopefully for the better (you can read the whole post here).
As a suburban white male, this is hard to read. Although, I’m certainly not upper-middle class those other distinctions do describe me.
The sad part of this is that he is right: Christianity is often portrayed in this way.