New York Times best selling author Frank Schaeffer, recently wrote a strong critique of both the evangelical and progressive forms of Protestant Christianity in North America in which he claims that “The problem with North American Christianity is not the window-dressing– it’s the whole package.”
Like Schaeffer, I believe the current trend of decline among Protestants in North America signals that Protestant Christianity as we have known it for the last hundred years has major issues. Either Protestantism has ceased to be or started down a path that will inevitably result in such (here I think of the idea that the term itself is increasingly without meaning — e.g., Frank Newport’s suggestion in his latest book) or it has entered into a phase of its life that is characterized by declines in adherents (especially among the young) and influence (both real and perceived) within the larger culture. Until leaders on the right and the left can agree that no minor change in language or approach will change this reality, far too much energy will be devoted to “window-dressing” than substantive shifts.
Do you agree that the “whole package” known as North American Protestant Christianity is badly broken? Explain.