Os Guinness Quotes

5 12 2007

What do you see as the biggest threat to Christianity in North America? 

Dr. Guinness: There are three huge challenges to the Christian church in the US: First is the challenge of regaining the integrity and effectiveness of faith in the modern world, over against the widespread worldliness of liberal and evangelical varieties of faith succumbing to the spirit of the age at point after point. Second is the challenge of persuading and winning back the educated classes, who are leading the country in a secular and European direction, and are almost impervious to the simplicities of present evangelistic methods. Third is the challenge of restoring a civil public square, without which the American republic will decline; and more importantly, Christians will not be free to enter and engage public life. At stake in all three issues is the character of faith in the modern world and the survival of Western civilization itself. 

What is wrong with using modern insights and methods as long as they are effective?

Dr. Guinness: All of the tools and insights of modernity are dangerous, but not when they are overtly hostile to Christianity, because people say, “That’s hostile! That’s against us. I don’t like that.” And we resist it. They are the most insidious when they are beneficial.  I often use the little illustration: One hundred years ago if you wanted to start a new church, you would have consulted with others in the fellowship, and you would have prayed and asked the Lord to guide. Today, you can just run your demographic statistics through, use your telemarketing, and within three months you can have a booming church. Without realizing it, there is no need for God, and that’s the danger. If the church is not growing, we will use marketing. If we are not helping people, we will use psychology.

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