Christians, It’s Time to Go on the Offensive

ChurchLeaders | 7/23/2019 | Staff
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When it comes to giving reasons for our faith, we Christians are playing far too defensive a game.

We’ve believed that Christianity is declining. It isn’t. We’ve assumed Christianity can’t stand up in the university. It can. Too many of us think Christianity is threatened by diversity. It never has been. And too few of us think Christian sexual ethics are sustainable in the modern world. They are. On these and many other fronts, we have conceded far more ground to secularism than it deserves.

Game - Point-scoring - Culture-warring - Bible - Pet

But we’ve also been playing too aggressive a game. We’ve majored on point-scoring and culture-warring, when the Bible calls us to “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15). We’ve propagated weak arguments without listening to real experts. And we’ve blindly stepped out into cultural traffic, rather than taking our lead from those with the credibility to speak.

If we are to be faithful in this cultural moment, we must be neither retreaters nor attackers, neither (needlessly) defensive nor (faithlessly) aggressive. Instead, we must go on a “gentle offensive.” Here are five things that will help.

Years - Sociologists - Decline - Modernization - Secularization

Forty years ago, sociologists predicted religious decline. Modernization had bred secularization in Western Europe, and where Western Europe led (so the logic went), the rest of the world would follow.

But that prophecy failed.

West - Identification - Rest - World - Suit

In the West, religious identification has certainly declined and looks set to decline further. But the rest of the world has not followed suit. In the next 40 years, Christianity is set to remain the world’s largest belief system, claiming 32 percent of the global population (a 1 percent increase over its current share), while Islam is expected to grow substantially from 24 percent to 31 percent. Meanwhile, the portion of humanity that does not identify with any particular religion (including atheists, agnostics, and “nones”) is set to decline from 16 percent to...
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