In case you have not seen some of the reaction to George Barna's book, Revolution, here is a sampling. Written by Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady in the January edition:
The well-known Christian researcher has gone too far this time: He’s advocating the demise of the local church...
The tempered sociologist has now become something of a mad scientist. By cooking the numbers, reinterpreting the data and injecting his own biases into this odd experiment, he has created a Frankenstein that is now on the loose.
We should all be concerned about this monster.
Barna’s theory is that large numbers of American Christians are disillusioned with the church and have quit the Sunday morning routine. He applauds this trend, and has labeled these church dropouts “revolutionaries” who—in his opinion—have more spiritual creativity and passion than stick-in-the-mud traditionalists.
He also believes that those who have left the mainstream church scene will overhaul modern Christianity, describing their mission as “a daring redefinition of the church as we know it.”
He offers a gloomy assessment of the future of the American religious scene, claiming that by the year 2025 (1) the number of churches in this country will dramatically decline; (2) church attendance will drop while at the same time the “revolutionaries” will be devoting their time to other “spiritual events”; (3) donations to churches will drop; and (4) fewer clergy will receive a livable salary while denominations are forced to make huge cutbacks...
But what Barna wants to do is reinvent the church without its biblical structure and New Testament order—and without the necessary people who are anointed and appointed by God to lead it. To follow this defective thesis to its logical conclusion would require us to fire all pastors, close all seminaries and Bible colleges, padlock our sanctuaries and send everybody home to be discipled by somebody on the Internet or at a “spontaneous” worship concert. (After all, who needs buildings? Megachurches are so ‘90s.)
The message of Revolution is not for Christians in the Third World, and it is not for us. With all respect to Barna, who has helped us in the past with his facts and observations, this flawed proposal needs to be recalled before it causes some serious damage.
You can read the entire article here.
I suppose this type of reaction is to be expected!
Thanks, John White, for the heads up.