Early this year, Internet Monk wrote a three-part series assessing the state of the evangelical church in the United States (here, here and here). Briefly, he argues that evangelicals are on the precipice of the same massive and permanent decline already experienced by the Protestant mainline churches; that this movement will hit hardest among the fundamentalist Baptists, leaving a landscape populated mostly by Pentecostal-style charismatics and “therapeutic, church growth oriented megachurches”; and, finally, that this may not be a bad thing for the church, as the surviving remnants may be forced to reform and to jettison abnormalities like the prosperity gospel.
A response and similar analysis of the state of the evangelical church in Canada has since been written by Ro at PomoTheo.com, also in three parts (here, here and here). The PomoTheo piece reaches similar conclusions, though with some additional comments on the particular Canadian context. In this country, the author argues, we are already in the midst of an enormous inter-generational shift, as Canadians continue to mark down religious adherence on the census form but flock to the churches and other houses of worship in fewer and fewer numbers.
It’s also much more skeptical about the remnants which Internet Monk believed would exist in evangelicalized Catholic and Orthodox groups, the charismatic movement, and missionaries coming here from Africa and Asia. Even where such shifts are likely, Ro writes, they are likely to be inaccessible to the surrounding secular culture, and probably (in the case of missionaries) financially unsustainable in a post-denominational religious landscape. Ro remains guardedly optimistic about the prospects for a smaller, revitalized missional movement emerging from the wreckage.
In linking both analyses, Benediction Blogs On commented: “The Internet Monk… has an opinion worth reading. He got a lot of feedback. A Canadian responded with his critique and look at evangelicalism north of the US border; and no feedback. I’m not surprised by that.”