American evangelicalism is in crisis, writes Mark Galli, former editor and chief of Christianity Today. Beginning as the Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s, with George Whitefield and John Wesley, American evangelicalism has been in decline since the ‘60s, when “the social gospel” took root in mainline dominations. In the early 20th century, evangelicalism further declined, when “the missional church” took root in churches across America.¹
Galli writes in depth how “the social gospel” and “the missional church” have contributed to the church’s decline. The reader may wonder how the church doing mission has contributed to its decline. Isn’t mission a good thing? Doing mission is not the problem. The problem is when the church does mission, at the expense of loving God, our first priority.²
How can this misplaced priority be corrected? Galli’s premise is, as individual Christians desire God above all else, wrong priorities will be made right. The thoughts shared in the section, “Deepening Desire” could be a book in itself.³
When Did We Start Forgetting God is a clarion call to the Church of Jesus Christ in America. Can this decline be stopped? Can “let it begin with me” fix things? When the prophets of old saw Israel and Judah in decline did anything they wrote or said stopped the inevitable collapse? At the same time, the prophets did not stop their work of warning and voicing the solution.
In the book’s introduction Galli writes, “If evangelicalism fades away, he [God] will in his mercy raise up another movement that will revive his people. The future of the church in America does not hinge on the health of evangelicalism, it hinges on the power of God. I’d say we’re in good hands.” † Amen!
If you are concerned about the Church in America today this is a GREAT READ. When Did We Start Forgetting God by Mark Galli will give you much to think about.
Be Ye Glad!
¹ Galli, Mark. When Did We Start Forgetting God? Tyndale; 2020: pg. 28-31, 45-51.
² Galli, When Did We Start Forgetting God? pg. 53-82, 83-134.
³ Galli, When Did We Start Forgetting God? pg. 137-235.
† Galli, When Did We Start Forgetting God? pg. 8.
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