Discussing
A word of comfort as American Christianity is in decline

Jes Kast

Jes Kast
May 13, 2015

Despite a Pew report that American Christianity is in decline, a millennial minister feels this is an incredibly exciting time to preach the Gospel.

Branson Parler
May 14, 2015

Jes, thanks for these words of encouragement and hope. I appreciate the emphasis on the essentials: prayer, worship, breaking bread, and Scripture. To paraphrase Chesterton, it's not that we've tried those and found them wanting, it's that we find those essentials too difficult and so leave them untried.

Gretchen Schoon Tanis
May 14, 2015

I think Jes is insightful to draw out the words of scripture of "do not fear" because my instinct is to say this isn't as much about the Gospel as it is about the post-modern water we've been living in the past twenty years. If most millennial have been hearing the loss of meta-narrative and spiritual life is personally mediated, I believe we are churning out a generation of people with conviction or commitment issues. Of course they won't claim Christ! Philosophically we've made room for that out. However, that doesn't take Christianity out at the knees because it isn't about faith it's about formation. I agree - it is certainly an exciting time to be a pastor and a Christian. God is going to do some really cool things!

Janis
May 15, 2015

It seems that at least some of the decline may be because of what is not being taught or spoke about in many mainline Christian churches- sin and our need of a Savior. Church has become more about entertainment and trying to reach the unsaved by watering down the Gospel.
And I must say, quoting a "Christian" mystic's prayer, however harmless that prayer may look,is another of the changing norms within the church that is disturbing.

Ernie
May 15, 2015

Fully agree with Janis. Question is: which group does the CRC with a loss of about 70,000 members in the last decade or so fit into? (despite all the "change" motif--or is it because of that at a time when millenials seem to be looking for transcendence and authenticity)

Jes Kast-Keat
May 19, 2015

In Reply to Branson Parler (comment #27138)
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Glad it resonated with you. Thanks for the comment!

Jes Kast-Keat
May 19, 2015

In Reply to Gretchen Schoon Tanis (comment #27141)
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Like usual beautifully said Gretchen.

Jes Kast-Keat
May 19, 2015

In Reply to Janis (comment #27143)
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You know what's wonderful to me? The Christian faith is expansive and deep. We have Christian thinkers, like Julian of Norwich, who call us to the mystical experience of our faith in Christ. I'm grateful for the diverse voices within our Christian tradition.

Janis
May 19, 2015

The true Gospel, as I understand it, is neither expansive nor mystical. It is simple enough for a child to understand. Some have added to it to make it more about experience than relationship. I prefer to trust the biblical scholars than mystics.

Jes Kast-Keat
May 19, 2015

In Reply to Janis (comment #27157)
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In relation to the Pew research and what I am responding to here, I think we would be wise to learn from the different traditions within our Christian family. Christian dialogue and support, within our own family of faith, will be important in our way forward for the health of the church.

Janis
May 20, 2015

I am not sure what you mean regarding "different traditions within our Christian family",as I do not believe that all who call themselves Christians or who attend church ate indeed Christians. There is much out there that align themselves with the Christian church that do not follow the same beliefs of biblical Christians. In my opinion, caution needs to be exercised when aligning ourselves with others and making sure they are within our family of faith.

Stephen John
December 5, 2017

What is this talk about 'tradition'? Christianity is not a 'tradition' nor are it's components. That word ought be removed from one's vocabulary. The Things of Christ do not involve 'the traditions' of man nor can or should they be 'conformed into one'.

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