So the Church of England has appointed another middle aged, white, anti-gay guy to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Big whoop. In Western institutions in which the people actually get a vote — like, say, American democracy — middle aged, white, ant-gay guys are losing power. That’s all to the good, if you ask me.
But it’s still not easy being a gay Christian. Easier than before, but not easy, per se.
One person who’s tackling that is Justin Lee, author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. It’s a good book. I recommend it. But here’s the deal: I think that Justin is too nice.
Justin desires to build bridges in the divisive world of the church-sexuality conversation. That’s great. I think that he and Andrew Marin are the models of this positive, bridge-building work.
But I wonder, when I talk to Justin and when I read his book, why he’s not more pissed.
Jenkins says that at first blush, the answer is obviously Christianity. But when you drill down into the stats, the answer might be Islam:
If Christians point to Africa as the ultimate success story, then Muslims can boast their growing numbers across their historic heartlands. In 1900, for instance, Egypt had perhaps nine million Muslims, compared to 75 million today. In the same period, the number of Iranian Muslims grew from ten million to perhaps 65 million. In 1900, the lands that would become Indonesia had perhaps 34 million Muslims, compared to 190 million today.
Put another way, four times as many Christians are alive today as there were in 1900; but over the same period, Muslims have grown at least seven-fold.