I’m not a big fan of Time Magazine, but as has been noted elsewhere in the blogosphere, they recently released an article entitled Ten Ideas Changing the World Right Now. Third on that list is “The New Calvinism.” Referring to individuals like John Piper, Mark Driscoll and Al Mohler, the article highlights how this resurgence of Calvinism is where much of the lifeblood of the broader evangelical movement is found.
Yet just earlier this week a quite different article was published entitled The Coming Evangelical Collapse. Michael Spencer argues the following:
We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.
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.
This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.
Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I’m convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.
Without implying that these two are the only options, do you find yourself encouraged by the growth of the new Calvinism and see it as a sign of good times to come for the evangelical movement? Or are you more inclined to see the end of evangelicalism as we know it? Or do you foresee some combination of the two?