Is Evangelical Christianity Done For?

March 20, 2009

According to a

commentary

in the Christian Science Monitor, anti-Christianity is making such headway in Western Civilization that it spells the collapse of Evangelicalism.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the “Protestant” 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

Thinkers have heralded the demise of Christianity in particular and religion in general for decades, including the optimism at the beginning of the 20th Century that predicted that a more secular “civil religion” would replace all dogmatic ones, and such prophecies were wrong, at least for the United States. The secularization hypothesis, the notion that as societies advance they become less religious, never seemed to apply to the United States. But in this commentary, Michael Spencer suggests otherwise.

He gives a number of reasons why he thinks Evangelical Christianity is on the way out, and predicts that “aggressively evangelistic fundamentalist churches will begin to disappear.” The questions for secularists:

1. If the religious right cultural competitors wane, what’s a secularist to do but just congratulate herself for winning the culture war and pack up and go home?

and

2. Is it therefore more important than ever not just to be

against

the prevailing cults of unreason in our society, Evangelical Christianity specifically, but also to be

for

alternatives, based upon scientific humanism?