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Future of Evangelicalism

Introduction

Introduction

A rapidly evolving tradition with deep historical roots, evangelicalism confronts abundant opportunities and abundant challenges. How will current movements within the church shape the face of American Christianity in the next ten years? What is the best way to influence culture while retaining the distinctive qualities of evangelical faith? How should evangelicals relate to other Christian traditions, and even non-Christian ones? How ought evangelicals to engage in politics? And how are evangelical ministries responding to the swiftly changing circumstances of life in the twenty-first century?

Patheos has assembled an extraordinary collection of essays addressing these questions. The essays are organized according to the themes listed below.

Select below to read responses on the following themes:
Transforming the Church
Transforming Culture
American Evangelicalism and the Varieties of Christianity
Transforming Society, Part 1: Social Justice and the Progressive Christian Movement
Transforming Society, Part 2: Liberty, Responsibility, and Christianity
Transforming the Shape of Evangelical Ministry

Transforming the Chruch

New Life in Ancient Sources

New Life in Ancient Sources

Matthew Anderson (Senior Editor, "Evangelical Outpost")

Evangelicals are discovering new life in the oldest of sources, drawing for the future upon the traditions, liturgies, and embodied practices of the past.

Our Unevenly Distributed Future

Our Unevenly Distributed Future

Joe Carter (Web Editor, First Things)

The future is already among us; it is just not yet evenly distributed. An internet pioneer reflects on how technology is reshaping Christian communities.

Evangelical Tribalism: The Big Sort or The Breakfast Club?

Evangelical Tribalism: The Big Sort or The Breakfast Club?

Al Hsu (Author, editor, InterVarsity Press)

Evangelicals are self-segregating into tribal subcultures. How can they be brought together again?

The Old Coalition Is Passing

The Old Coalition Is Passing

Scot McKnight (North Park University)

One of evangelicalism's leading lights surveys the field, and finds the Neo-Evangelical Coalition is falling apart.

Future Trends in Evangelicalism

Future Trends in Evangelicalism

Ed Stetzer (President, Lifeway Research)

According to a pioneer in church research, successful churches in the coming decade will have to discuss and resolve four different issues.

The Evangelical Reformed Movement: A Comeback

The Evangelical Reformed Movement: A Comeback

Justin Taylor (Vice President, Crossway Books),
Kevin DeYoung (Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, MI),
Collin Hansen (Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition)

Calvinism has become the new cool kid on the block. That brings great challenges -- and great opportunities. No movement of God can or should long endure if Christians cannot treat one another with grace. We have been given much; we agree on much; we ought to love much.

Transforming Culture

Trajectories in Philosophy and Apologetics

Trajectories in Philosophy and Apologetics

William Lane Craig (Talbot School of Theology)
and Paul Copan (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

Two philosophers and apologists reflect on the trends shaping the future of Christian witness.

To Let Christ Live in Us

To Let Christ Live in Us

An Interview with Andy Crouch (Author, Senior Editor at Christianity Today International)

Writer, artist, and innovator Andy Crouch reflects on how Christians of today and tomorrow can make Christ present in culture.

Tangible Faith in an Age of Distraction

Tangible Faith in an Age of Distraction

How will the church draw upon its ancient resources to give witness in this present Age of Distraction?

Storm Clouds on the Horizon: The Future of Science and Religion

Storm Clouds on the Horizon: The Future of Science and Religion

The dialogue between science and religion is rapidly dissolving into a culture war over religious belief.

New Ways of Shaping Society

New Ways of Shaping Society

An Interview with Michael Lindsay (Rice University)

A specialist in religion and leadership reflects on the evolving ways in which evangelicals are working to shape the future of American society.

The Future of Evangelicals in Academia

The Future of Evangelicals in Academia

An Interview with Mark Noll (Notre Dame University)

Sixteen years ago, Mark Noll noted the "scandal" of the absence of an evangelical mind. He reflects on evangelical scholarship and cultural engagement.

Dissenters from the Established Church

Dissenters from the Established Church

Marvin Olasky (Editor-in-Chief of World Magazine, Provost of The King's College)

Few Americans bend the knee to the Church of Darwin, and few will as long as it offers no real sense of identity and hope.

Film Is the New Literature

Film Is the New Literature

Robert Velarde (Author, philosopher)

In the Age of Entertainment, evangelicals who would remain relevant to their culture must learn to exegete the medium of film.

American Evangelicalism and the Varieties of Christianity

In Search of a Rock on Which to Stand

In Search of a Rock on Which to Stand

Rod Dreher (Blogger, author, and Director of Publications for the Templeton Foundation)

There is little reason for optimism for the traditional western church, but faith is ever hopeful, and signs of life are found in the Global East and South.

The Revolution May Not be Televised ... but 'Redemption' Just Might

The Revolution May Not be Televised ... but 'Redemption' Just Might

Marla Frederick (Harvard University)

American televangelism has gone global. It brings funds to American coffers, but it also bears hope into dark places.

There and Back Again: The Roman Catholic Church in America's Next Decade

There and Back Again: The Roman Catholic Church in America's Next Decade

Hugh Hewitt (Professor of Law and Nationally Syndicated Radio Show Host)

"We are witnessing the opening of a great evangelical era in American Catholicism."

Conversations with the Saints

Conversations with the Saints

Adam McHugh (Author, spiritual director, Presbyterian minister)

Evangelicalism's loss of cultural power presents an opportunity for a kenotic humility and an openness to learn from the Great Tradition.

Transforming Society, Part 1: Social Justice and the Progressive Christian Movement

How to Derail the New Monasticism

How to Derail the New Monasticism

An Interview with Shane Claiborne (Author, Activist, Leader of the New Monasticism Movement)

What we learn from the monastic tradition is that it begins with the single-minded pursuit of God and neighbor -- "to will one thing," as Kierkegaard said, wholeheartedly seeking the kingdom of God.

A New Christian Convergence

A New Christian Convergence

Brian McLaren (Emergent Church Leader)

A new coalition is already taking shape, as existing organizations and emerging networks discover one another and realize they have independently reached common conclusions.

The Great Emergence (of) Christianity: Changing the World

The Great Emergence (of) Christianity: Changing the World

Phyllis Tickle (Author, editor, and lecturer)

"Emergence Christianity" is changing the way we see politics, obedience, the kingdom of God, and even the Trinity. The Age of the Spirit has dawned.

The Legacy of an Activist Career

The Legacy of an Activist Career

An Interview with Jim Wallis (Author, lecturer, founder of Sojourners)

"I like what I'm seeing in the new generation, and I think they are going to be an independent force in politics. Really, we as Christians ought to be a third force in politics."

Transforming Society, Part 2: Liberty, Responsibility, and Christianity

The Dead Are Not Raised by Politics

The Dead Are Not Raised by Politics

An Interview with Michael Cromartie (Vice President, Ethics and Public Policy Center)

Christians should approach the political sphere without over-inflated expectations-but they should be faithful in their calling to do the work God has given them.

On the Dire Need for the Imitation of Christ

On the Dire Need for the Imitation of Christ

Timothy Dalrymple (Manager, Patheos' Evangelical Channel)

What if the problems with our economy, our government, and our Church all have the same root cause? What if we are the problem?

C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism

C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism

David J. Theroux (President, The Independent Institute; President, the C. S. Lewis Society of California)

Part 1: Evangelicals have found inspiration in Lewis's religious writings. Might they find much-needed guidance for their future in his political philosophy as well?
Part 2: What would C. S. Lewis say to the contemporary "social justice" movement?
Part 3: C. S. Lewis has inspired many Christians spiritually. Could he inspire a Christian reassertion of individual liberty?

Transforming the Shape of Evangelical Ministry

Maturing the Modern Spiritual Formation Movement

Maturing the Modern Spiritual Formation Movement

Richard Foster (Founder, Renovar)

The spiritual formation movement is more than a fad. It is a response to the profound human longing to be matured and formed into the image of Christ.

A Good Samaritan Hope

A Good Samaritan Hope

Rob Moll (Author, Editor at Large, Christianity Today)

Evangelicals can offer a universal balm to an ever-fragmenting society.

Friends of All Faiths

Friends of All Faiths

An Interview with Bob Roberts (Senior Pastor, NorthWood Church)

A conservative evangelical pastor from Texas is changing the way evangelicals approach other faiths.

A Wakeup Call For Evangelicals

A Wakeup Call For Evangelicals

Tom Sine (Author, founder of Mustard Seed Associates)

It is imperative that a shrinking church in a troubled world recovers the sense that Christian faith is for the whole of life.

The Future of Contemporary Christian Music

The Future of Contemporary Christian Music

Shawn David Young (Author, historian)

Contemporary Christian music created a parallel world. Is it necessary any longer?

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