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Evangelicalism has rich roots in American history, but many have questioned the vitality of its future. While the Pew data caused many to wring their hands over the future of the Evangelical communities in America, the religious landscape also kindles a great deal of hope. What do the data really say? Where do Evangelicals see real opportunities? What are the challenges that jeopardize growth?

These essays address a wide variety of themes and are loosely grouped around issues of wisely reading the data, of focusing in hope on multiethnic growth and Millennials, of learning from the past and returning to roots, and of a renewed calling to mission.

This topic is part of our summer symposium on the Future of Faith in America. For more resources visit our Future of Faith main page.


THE REALITIES BEHIND THE DATA

The Nones and the Nons: Surprising Similarities?

The Nones and the Nons: Surprising Similarities?

W. David Buschart

Could it be that the rise in nondenominationalism is a parallel to the rise of the "nones"?

Facing Facts About the Future of the Church in America

Facing Facts About the Future of the Church in America

Neil Carlson

People are bad at facing facts, but the 21st-century church needs to face some serious facts in order to survive.

The Fragmentation of Evangelicalism

The Fragmentation of Evangelicalism

John Hawthorne

If Evangelicalism can’t build a big enough tent around its central pillars, it will mire in conflict and fade into irrelevance.

Reports of Demise Are Overblown

Reports of Demise Are Overblown

Thomas S. Kidd

The clamor about the imminent death of traditional faith, in the short term, is much ado about nothing.

Three Futures for Evangelicalism in America

Three Futures for Evangelicalism in America

Charlie Self

The history of American Evangelicalism has consistently demonstrated three responses to shifting cultural, moral, and political developments.

For Evangelicalism, the Sky Is Not Falling but the Ground Is Shifting

For Evangelicalism, the Sky Is Not Falling but the Ground Is Shifting

Ed Stetzer

The mission force is now living in and engaging a very different (and more challenging) mission field.

Institutional and Theological Instabilities Threaten Evangelicalism's Future

Institutional and Theological Instabilities Threaten Evangelicalism's Future

Carl Trueman

Conservative Evangelicalism seems to have invested more time and money over the last decade in building up a celebrity culture and publishing a disproportionate amount of fluff.

A MULTIETHNIC AND MILLENNIAL FUTURE

Young, Restless, and Immediate: The Future of Evangelicalism

Young, Restless, and Immediate: The Future of Evangelicalism

Chris Armstrong

Are young evangelicals poised to remake God and faith to serve their own short-term needs?

Let Me Tell You a Story: Evangelicalism's Future

Let Me Tell You a Story: Evangelicalism's Future

Paul Asay

Millennials, we're told, don't want to be told what to do from a pulpit. They want to sit and talk. They want to swap stories.

Millennials and Faith Deficit Syndrome

Millennials and Faith Deficit Syndrome

Emily Gibson

In a society of acceptance, it has become unacceptable to consider the consequences of sin or the resulting notions of confession, forgiveness, grace, and redemption.

Generational Divide in American Evangelicalism

Generational Divide in American Evangelicalism

Carolyn Custis James

Millennials will win in the end.

Evangelicalism in America Is Doing Just Fine

Evangelicalism in America Is Doing Just Fine

Steven Jo

As the evangelical church in America attempts to embrace its inevitable and diverse future, there are two initial and inevitable steps.

Evangelicalism's Unexpected and Surprising Future

Evangelicalism's Unexpected and Surprising Future

Soong-Chan Rah

The American Church needs to face the inevitable and prepare for the next stage of her history — we are looking at a non-white majority, multiethnic American Christianity in the immediate future.

LEARNING FROM THE PAST

The Future of Evangelicalism: Stronger, Smaller, and Stranger

The Future of Evangelicalism: Stronger, Smaller, and Stranger

Drew Dyck

We'll be left with a church of upstream swimmers, people who cling to their faith identity despite a powerful counter current of anti-Christian sentiment.

Truth, Powerful and Prevailing

Truth, Powerful and Prevailing

K.A. Ellis

Can the African American church experience teach us something about the condition of Christianity in America?

The Opportunity to Be Sojourners and Strangers

The Opportunity to Be Sojourners and Strangers

Russell Moore

We don't have Mayberry anymore, if we ever did. Good. Mayberry can lead to hell just as surely as Gomorrah does.

Liberating Christians from Their Cultural Captivity

Liberating Christians from Their Cultural Captivity

Nancy Pearcey

Like ambassadors, evangelicals must learn the language and worldview of the people they are trying to reach.

No Prophecy, Just Prescription: Solid Theology

No Prophecy, Just Prescription: Solid Theology

Derek Rishmawy

An evangelical church that does not have its eyes squarely focused on the God who called it into being will not be long for this world.

This Is Not the First Evangelical Crossroads

This Is Not the First Evangelical Crossroads

Jennifer Woodruff Tait

Will evangelicals choose to go underground, or to disperse and leaven the whole loaf of American religion?

CALL TO MISSION

A Franciscan Moment

A Franciscan Moment

Timothy George

What is needed is a back-to-the-future revival. I see the stirrings of such an awakening already. It will be decidedly radical, global, and ecumenical.

Humility and Common Mission: Essentials of a Vibrant Future

Humility and Common Mission: Essentials of a Vibrant Future

Harold Heie

Is there a "Center" that can hold evangelicals together, forming a focus for the content of our respectful engagement with others?

Neither Falwell Nor Benedict, But a New Creation

Neither Falwell Nor Benedict, But a New Creation

Greg Forster

There will be dark and terrible times before we come out of the other end of the tunnel.

"That Hideous Strength" Is Evangelicalism's Text for the Future

Jake Meador

The future of Evangelicalism will either look less like Willow Creek or Mars Hill and more like St. Anne's or it will not exist.

Evangelicalism 2.0 or a New Reformation?

Evangelicalism 2.0 or a New Reformation?

Reed Metcalf

If we don't redefine ourselves, we will end up reforming ourselves.

Protecting the Boundaries at the Expense of the Center

Protecting the Boundaries at the Expense of the Center

John W. Morehead

Evangelicalism pursues internal social dynamics as well as interactions with culture from a bounded set approach. But does this produce healthy congregations?

Can Evangelicals Have Both

Can Evangelicals Have Both "Intentional Community" and Social Justice?

Steven Wedgeworth

Can we apply the commitments of classic Evangelicalism to the lessons of the past few years in order to move forward intact and anew?

Evangelicalism In Search of a Soul

Evangelicalism In Search of a Soul

Mark Young

The nagging question for evangelicals is whether it is right to be right if we're not also redemptive.

Commentary From Our Blogging Community

America’s Famine: Roughly 25 Percent, 80 Million, Are Christians

America’s Famine: Roughly 25 Percent, 80 Million, Are Christians

Bethany Blankley

Note: The Patheos Evangelical Future of Faith Forum, of which I was asked to participate, compiles insight to the future of faith in America largely based on flawed data from Pew Research. Pew’s data related to Evangelicals over the last several decades has used dissimilar criteria in its research and polling questions that erroneously define whom [Read More...]

Evangelicalism Outside the Gate

Evangelicalism Outside the Gate

D. G. Hart

This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Evangelicalism. Read other perspectives here. If someone were an evangelical in 1859 and was wondering about the future of born-again Protestantism, would he or she have predicted a fundamentalist controversy in around six decades or the rise of a [Read More...]

What Kind Of Evangelical Am I?

What Kind Of Evangelical Am I?

Michelle Van Loon

(This post is part of the Patheos “Why I Am Still An Evangelical” conversation.) My four decades in the Evangelical world has been a pilgrim’s road trip. I came to faith in 1974 in the waning days of the Jesus Movement, and have since swum laps in a variety of different streams within Evangelicalism: fundamentalist, [Read More...]