Top 10 Challenges Facing American Christianity in 2018
by Brian Chilton
2017 was a challenging year in many respects for American Christians. But, what are the most pressing issues that Christians will encounter in 2018? Here is my top-ten list that will discuss that very issue. In contrast to previous lists that I have presented, this list will only focus on American Christianity, particularly the theological issues that apologists and pastors will face in the year ahead. This comes from my observations from various social media discussion groups on Facebook, Twitter, and from various magazines, books, and television.
10. Relaxed Morality. I have noticed that many Christians have relaxed their views on such issues as abortion and marriage. Perhaps this is due in part to the pressures placed upon them from society at large. Shockingly, a growing number of Christians are accepting polygamous, polyamorous, and open relationships. The apologist and pastor will need to maintain their commitment to biblical ethics in these areas. They should expect a mounting resistance to ethical teachings, especially on the more hot-button issues.
9. Racial Reconciliation. 2017 saw a lot of tension in racial matters, especially with the division over Confederate monuments. Pastors and apologists alike will need to emphasize the global and multi-ethnic nature of the gospel message.
8. Decline in Attendance. Many churches will face tough decisions in the year ahead. I read somewhere where around 4,000 churches close each year (Lifeway Bookstore president Thom Rainer has suggested that the number may be as high as 10,000) where only 1,000 are starting up. Denominations will need to push to create more church plants. Struggling churches will need to make efforts to change their strategy or face the very real possibility of closing their doors.
7. Relative Truth Claims. For those who have followed my blog, you know I have mentioned this multiple times. Yet, it bears repeating that many Americans have bought into the ideology that truth is relative. It’s the ‘ol “What’s true for you may not be true for me” routine. But, is that true for everyone? This only shows the growing need for more trained apologists and more apologetic pastors…
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