Preaching Honestly In A Post-Christian World

One way of putting the truth would be that the religion which has declined was not Christianity. It was a vague Theism with a strong and virile ethical code

.. When no man goes to church except because he seeks Christ the number of actual believers can at last be discovered.

.. I am a senior/solo pastor in the PCA, a conservative, evangelical presbyterian denomination. My sense of our small church is that people (both on the left and right) are more despairing over America’s political state than its spiritual state.

I am in my early thirties. Those older than me seem to think that our church will start growing dramatically once we can get our techniques and programs and leadership “vision” dialed in. Growing a church like this has “worked” for a long time in evangelicalism, but I am not so sure that church growth can be produced so easily any more, or at least for much longer. Those younger than me, with some happy exceptions, seem to be spiritually adrift in the goo of MTD.

Episode 257: Post-Church Church w/Jo Saxton

Our favorite Nigerian-British-Minnesotan author/speaker/thinker Jo Saxton returns to the show to talk about church and discipleship in an increasingly post-church world. If you’re in a community that doesn’t want church services at all, maybe tweaking your church service isn’t the right answer. But what is?? Jo describes experiments from Sheffield, England that she and others are now applying to the US. Plus, how denomination accurately predicts a pastor’s political affiliation, and Phil finds a story about space worms and can’t stop talking about it. Seriously. He can’t stop.

 

What did church leaders have to give up:  our sense of excellence

Wary of Modern Society, Some Christians Choose a Life Apart

Longing to lead more religious lives—and wary of the wider culture—a growing number of traditional Christians are creating their own small communities

.. “Our goal in moving here was to form our children’s conscience and intellect in a particular way, without society taking that authority from us,”

.. In many ways, Clear Creek resembles the U.S. of a past era. Women wear long skirts and cover their heads during Mass—a practice most Catholics have abandoned since the reforms of Vatican II more than a half-century ago. Young men often ask permission from the fathers of women whom they want to court.

.. “There was just too much promiscuity; it’s permeated the whole society,” said Mr. Schmidgall, 25. “Maybe you teach them one thing at home, but you walk down the street and there’s signs with some provocative image or a woman.”

.. “We’re living in a post-Christian world,” Mr. Dreher said. “There needs to be some conscious separation from the mainstream to be able to hold on to the Christian faith.”

.. Many Christians, however, resist the idea of such stark separation, seeing it as an abandonment of their religious mission. “We have a mandate to spread the gospel,”

.. The families in Clear Creek see themselves as fundamentally different from breakaway religious groups like the Amish. There is no ban on technology or suspicion of outsiders.

.. “We wanted our children to grow up in a community of people that really value family, and value the Catholic faith and tradition,”

.. Life here, Mr. Pudewa said, isn’t “about running away from something. It’s about running to something.” To “inculcate wisdom and virtue in children,” he added, “you surround them with goodness and beauty.”

.. Separated from the wider world, she said, the church pastor became “spiritually abusive.” Women were treated like possessions, and gay people were demonized.

“We didn’t call it the Benedict Option—the phrase we used was ‘doctrine of separation,’ ” said Ms. Field, who left that church while in college. “But it was the same thing. This has been done.”