Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some interesting (sad?) Barna research

Barna Research Group has recently come out with a study that shows where the majority of Christians are headed. Here are their six "megathemes", with my comments following:

1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.
How sad. But I can definitely see this. Look at what is being sung on K-Love and other Christian radio stations. As Kenny Thacker once said, referring to this young generation which tends to not read their Bibles..."If we don't sing it to them, they won't know it." There's a lot of truth we're not singing about any more!

2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.
Basically this means lack of evangelism. I can see this. If you don't know your own faith (#1), how can you share it with others? Didn't Peter say... "always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you"?

3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
Yeah, we've seen this one coming. So many people want a self-help sermon. And if they will sit and listen to a theologically rich, expository, Christocentric sermon, they still want three action steps at the end. Because it's still "all about me".

4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
This is partly good and partly bad. Barna goes on to say that the problem is that many times no one attaches Jesus to their good works. Can you say Berea College? I recommend everyone who is interested in social justice read When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert.

5. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
Again, when you don't know the foundational doctrines and theology of the Bible, you won't defend them.

6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.
Again, this one breaks my heart. When and why did we ever stop thinking that the world and all it's systems and us and every part of our lives needs to come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ? God help us!

If you would like to read more about the Barna Research project, click here. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel that God moves in a new and fresh way among the Church in every generation. New revelation for "such a time as this". We, humans are naturally resistant to change and often fight these new moves of God. I think that God is now moving in a mighty way in the Church to bring us to a new revelation, but it is critical that we don't throw out the foundations. I think this research shows what happens when we try to build our faith on no foundation. This kind of faith will not stand when shaken.