Is American Evangelicalism on the Verge of Collapse?


A recent, ongoing conversation occurring around the blogosphere concerns what to make of some study numbers showing declines in stalwart Evangelical denominations. Below is a series of links that pertain to the issue:

The American Religious Identification Survey study that kicked off part of the conversation. (An excerpt is here.)

Michael Spencer’s Christian Science Monitor article that propounded the idea that the survey figures signaled a collapse of Evangelicalism within ten years. (Spencer blogs at

Michael Bell posted an intriguing statistical portent that hints at which churches will decline, plus two articles at that unpack those numbers (Post 1, Post 2).

Leith Anderson, the current head of the National Association of Evangelicals, responds to Spencer’s CSM article.

And finally, Spencer rebuts Anderson.

Today, I’d like to ask what you think of this debate. Is Evangelicalism on the downward slide? And if so, why?

(I wade in with my thoughts in this follow-up post: “Is American Evangelicalism on the Verge of Collapse?†“A Response“)

Two for a March Tuesday


2 for TuesdayWhile I don’t usually have anything to do with the cult of Christian Science (an oxymoron if there ever was one), their Monitor news service remains insightful. Still, it comes as a bit of surprise to see them running an article by the iMonk, Michael Spencer, about the collapse of Evangelicalism based, in part, on numbers from a recent study. I have to agree with the conclusions. Read the whole thing, as they say.

David Wilkerson, one of the few remaining voices of sanity within the modern charismatic movement, has issued a stark warning about impending doom coming to major cities across the globe. It doesn’t seem to me that he’s calling this the end of the world exactly, but it’s pretty strongly worded. I have a lot of respect for Wilkerson, and he doesn’t ordinarily go off half-cocked, so his warning has got me thinking. He’s successfully foreseen a lot of error, craziness, and world events in the past, so even though he’s tended to be grim more often than positive, I wouldn’t discount him too quickly. We shall see.

An Incisive Word We May Not Wish to Hear


Diane at Crossroads gets a hat tip for pointing me to Michael Spencer’s new blog, Jesus Shaped Spirituality. His post “Pray at the Pump: A Meditation on Jesus and Economic Discipleship” could not be more incisive.

I encourage everyone to read it. Each one of us in this country may soon be faced with downward mobility. It’s going to be a horrible lesson to learn if we don’t have the eyes of God to see the truth.