Thursday, October 02, 2008

Five Trends in the Church Today: D.A. Carson

D.A. Carson @ outlines five disturbing trends in the Church today.

1. It is important to observe contradictory trends.

The good things in our current culture.

  • we have a lot more good commentaries available to us than we did fifty years ago.
Yet, mainline churches have fewer conversions than ever before.

2. Current evangelical fragments are moving into a new phase -- into polarized "clumps."

Evangelicals are identifying themselves in clump-like expressions of evangelicalism (Health/Wealth clump, Openness clump, Arminian clump, etc.).

  • "Even Reformed circles are clumping," said Carson, "and the center is emptying out in favor of vague, dilute evangelicalism."

3. The most dangerous trends in any age are the trends that most people do not see.

A formally orthodox leader will head into trouble if he is not astute toward current trends in evangelicalism.

  • Today's issues like justification, inerrancy, primacy of family, gender roles, sexuality, pornography, modesty, race relations (very few race-integrated churches), tolerance, consumerism and human flourishing are the current issues at hand.
4. There is a trend in our churches to be consumed by social concern.

Our calling, Carson said is to do good in the city (Jer. 29), because the person has an eternal destiny and we care for them. We are all poor beggars telling other poor beggars where they can find bread. Don concluded this section by warning us not to make the issues of gospel and social concern antithetical.

5. There is a trend in our churches to emphasize discipleship over the gospel.

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