By Robert Wuthnow
Within the 12 months 2000--and beyond--what will the church be like? What demanding situations will it face? Will the church have the capacity to supply a powerful experience of group? Will or not it's a moral strength within the lives of usa citizens? And what position will faith play in politics and on the market? In Christianity within the twenty first Century Robert Wuthnow displays on those provocative questions as he seeks to spot alterations which are happening now in American society that church buildings needs to handle in the event that they are to stay important sooner or later. He foresees 5 severe areas--institutional, moral, doctrinal, political, and cultural--in which significant demanding situations will come up, then meets the thorny matters head-on. How will church buildings' source bases, their very identification, and their skill to hold on their non secular traditions be altered? until they proceed to operate as resources of being concerned in a needy global? What influence will the resurgence of fundamentalism have, and the way will average and liberal congregations react? How will the political actions of church buildings impression their ability to be heard within the public enviornment, and what's going to the impression be of pluralism and the existing materialism of our society? Drawing on a variety of first-hand observations and learn, Wuthnow demontrates that during every one of those 5 components humans of religion have powerful purposes to go into the subsequent century with self assurance of their non secular associations. yet he additionally highlights worrisome symptoms, and issues to express components that have to be addressed to make sure the ongoing energy for Christianity in America--not least between those are the rampant individualism that erodes non secular groups and the spiritual infighting that diminishes the Christian experience of team spirit. The onset of a brand new millennium provides a historical chance to take inventory of the current state of affairs and to devise for the future--in the years forward, a lot mirrored image is probably going to take place approximately all our significant associations. Christianity within the twenty first Century goals to give a contribution to these reflections by means of supplying a sobering, real looking, and finally hopeful overview of the place the church is now, and the place the church is headed.
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Additional info for Christianity in the Twenty-first Century: Reflections on the Challenges Ahead
Fo r a core of active laity, the churc h itself may be th e community. Bu t fo r others, it should b e likened to a referral system. You come wanting th e worship experience; i t is open to all . You come want ing hel p o r informatio n o r community ; th e clerg y can assis t mainl y by directing yo u to on e o f the doze n group s an d ministries available, either at that churc h or i n the wider community. The intens e suppor t o f which Durkhei m wrot e i s more likel y t o com e from thes e smaller , more intimate , bu t als o mor e transien t groups.
When the y need help , sh e helps them. Whe n sh e needs help, they help her. The churc h Miriam Waters belongs t o i s not i n some sleepy littl e tow n wher e elderl y ladies gather o n Thursda y afternoon s t o make quilts . I t i s located i n a n affluen t subur b of Knoxville , Tennessee . The peopl e wh o g o ther e ar e bus y professionals . Miriam's husban d i s a middle-level executive in a large electronics firm. She herself is the direc tor o f a prospering day-car e center. For Miria m Waters , th e churc h give s he r a sense o f communit y i n all three o f th e way s I hav e just described .
Fo r example , 86 percent o f weekly church attender s sai d the y had hear d a sermon withi n the pas t yea r tha t specificall y talked abou t lovin g you r neighbor . Sixty nine percen t sai d the y coul d tel l the stor y o f the Good Samarita n i f they were aske d to d o so. Other research , base d o n direc t informatio n fro m a representativ e sample o f churche s i n th e Unite d States , estimate s tha t 9 0 percen t o f 36 Institutional Challenges these congregation s sponso r som e kin d o f communit y servic e activity .