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Thursday, September 14, 2006 

Two Quotes from Klemet Preus's Book

Here are two very interesting points Klemet Preus makes in his book The Fire and the Staff, Lutheran Theology in Practice.

“Dwight Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham have conducted revivals for more than a century. They have energized the Evangelical community. Growth experts have inspired their churches with endless techniques for evangelism, ideas for growth, and strategies for increase. You would expect that Christianity, and especially Evangelical Christianity, would be prospering in the United States. Sadly this is not true. William Chadwick relates a comment from C. Peter Wagner at a lecture given at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1991: “Our initial research indicates that there has been no appreciable growth in the American Evangelical population as a whole over the last ten years.” George Barna agrees. In 1996 he concluded that “the proportion of born again Christians in America has remained unchanged… Data showed that most measures of religious activity among American adults have remained flat or are experiencing slow decline.”

“What is happening? People are flitting about from congregation to congregation playing musical churches. Some churches wax. Others wane. Christianity looses its force and credibility in an increasingly cynical world. Moody converted those who were already in churches. Today’s Evangelical community does the same.”

Maybe somebody should tell Wagner we now have Ablaze! With the Ablaze! program, no wait, it’s a movement; we can change the proportion of Christians in America. We’ve just been doing it all wrong before. I just wish that there was some way to educate the masses on how important it is for us to make new Christians! If only there was a way…

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