For the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed and have been challenged by the Internet Monk’s (a.k.a. Michael Spencer) blog and this morning as I rolled out of bed I thought I would post his recent post here and give you a link to his site. I wanted to post his 13 Issues of Evangelicalism, because in a lot of ways he hit it right on the head. The scary thing is I see these issues in my own heart at times, but I also see them exported to the world. Much of the ugliness of the evangelicalism has been exported to other countries and the thing is, it feels like you, or at least me, can notice the ugliness so much more than the good things we, as American Evangelicals, have exported. Maybe, that is just the cynic in me (or has my father says, “I’m a realist.”). Either way, these are worth reading. May God stir something in His bride to bring deep change.
1. Vast evidence of a growing doctrinal deterioration on the essentials and implications of the Gospel.
2. The expansion and influence of the â€œProsperity Gospelâ€ throughout evangelicalism.
3. The loss of the concept of meaningful church membership and the rise of the â€œaudience-onlyâ€ model of church participation.
4. The loss of the theological â€œcenterâ€ in mainline churches at the precise time many evangelicals are open to reconsidering the mainline vision of worship, especially in Anglicanism.
5. The triumph and glorification of unchecked pragmatic entrepreneurialism, especially in worship, but in all areas of evangelical life.
6. The corrosive and compromised influence of Christian publishing in shaping evangelicalism, as exemplified in the rise of Joel Osteen, The Prayer of Jabez and the Prosperity Gospel.
7. Growing chaos in the theological and practical preparation of pastors, especially in the â€œemergingâ€ church.
8. The failure of the â€œSeekerâ€ model to use its vast resources and influence to produce a Christian counter-culture or challenge the â€œprogram centered/facilities centeredâ€ model of evangelicalism.
9. The lack of rising â€œBilly Grahamâ€ quality new leaders for the larger evangelical movement.
10. The failure of most evangelical denominations to broadly embrace and effectively mentor the current church planting movement.
11. The demise of quality Biblical preaching at the hands of technology and entertainment.
12. The apparently fatal infection of much of the emerging church movement with the failed theology of 20th century liberalism.
13. The cannibalism of evangelicalism on issues related to theological, cultural, social and political diversity.