Here's the opening:
We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.
Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.
This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.
Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.
There's so much worth reflecting upon in this piece that it's difficult to even begin responding. But I'll take a brief stab at it.
For starters, I note that, from what I have read and heard from a priest friend in the , "the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West" in which "intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes" is already well underway. That includes clergy getting verbally and sometimes physically assaulted because they are wearing clericals, to churchgoers getting cursed at as they're leaving services by hostile passersby on the sidewalk.
England and Western Europe are much further along in the evolution towards a post-Christian society than the USA. But it's already happening here, even in the deep South. I can only imagine how much different things will be by the time my children have their own children.
Another thought: if this decline is starting to happen within evangelicalism (and I'm sure that there are many who might argue with the author of this piece on the how and the why of it all), I think it's fair to say that it's been happening for far longer to mainstream denominations like The . It's no secret that the mainline churches have been experiencing serious decline for the past several decades. To my mind, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to substitute a few words and phrases in the following paragraph from The Christian Science Monitor article so that it applies only too well to The Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations:
We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.
In addition to the other challenges facing The Episcopal Church when it comes to Christian formation, if "Anomic Anglicanism" gains the upper hand, we may become more and more acceptable to an increasingly secular, post-Christian culture while having very little to offer that promotes the authentically Christian gospel.