because of what i do, i have participated in many funerals. and i must say that i'm old enough now to confess that this final failure of christendom (ie: the institutional church of the west) seems more like a death than the birth of something new.
the challenge becomes how to stand in confidence at the graveside of this old friend as we we see the current culture walk (run?) away from the mausoleum.
it is important to remember that this dying christendom is actually why mega-churches continue to grow. you see, most of these churches are not converting pomo pagans. most instead are receiving members from smaller churches (called transfer growth), where the attraction is anonymity and a plausibility structure.
the real question then becomes what will the next generation do after the funeral, you know, when the entire thing crashes?
of course, we ask this question from the human perspective, since this is what we have. that is to say, the almighty can do whatever he wants and no doubt will. i think it was g.k. chesterton who said that when he read church history he noticed at least three times the church had gone to the dogs, but that each time it was the dogs that died!
this is well and good but, from our perspective, this time of contraction and marginalization is bitter; it is experienced as loss, and it should be grieved...
part 3 this next time