Entries tagged with “post-church”.

It’s become almost commonplace to note that Canada is not the nation it once was. We have quickly become a post-Christian society—a nation which counts Christian faith as part of its history but not its future. Last year, Statistics Canada announced that the number of Canadians identifying as Christian has dropped dramatically: from 77% in 2001 to 67% in 2011. And a new study confirms that fewer and fewer Canadians—even self-professed Christians—recognize the Bible as God’s Word. The fact is, most Canadian Christians never read the Bible at all.

So begins my most recent column for The Canadian Lutheran. It considers the increasingly secular culture in which Canadian Christians find themselves, and notes a rising intolerance towards Christians in our country. To be sure, this intolerance is not persecution in the strict sense of the term, I note; we do not face martyrdom the way some people—Mariam Ibrahim of Sudan, for example—do for professing faith in Christ. “Nevertheless,” I argue, Christians in Canada are also learning, if only a little, what it means to suffer for Christ.

That our nation is becoming increasingly secular is obvious; but how Christians should respond is less so. As the article goes on, I explore what it means to stand firm in the faith in our changing context (and how, when you think about it, there’s never really been a ‘golden age’ to be a Christian anyway).

Read it all in “Standing on Guard.”


A few years ago while in a class discussion, I remarked that the poem we were studying contained a reference to Noah’s Ark. Another student in the class turned to me and asked, quite seriously, “What’s Noah’s Ark?”

In Canada and the United States, we tend to delude ourselves into thinking we live in “Christian” nations. And at one time, that might have been somewhat true. But that time has long passed us by. If my above experience is any indication, we can no longer count on people knowing the most basic of biblical stories. And perhaps an even greater problem is posed by those who think they know the biblical stories, when all they’ve heard is related to anti-religious smears in popular culture. We are no longer a Christian society. We have moved into a post-Christian society.

Dr. Robert D. Newton has an excellent article in The Lutheran Witness addressing how evangelism today requires us to first recognize the reality of our post-Christian society. We cannot afford to continue “doing church” the way we always have, assuming that our neighbours recognize the Church as an authoritative voice in our world. The fact is, they don’t. The sooner we realize that the sooner we can begin preaching the Gospel clearly as we ought. Check out “Missionary Churches: Navigating in a Post-Church World,” an article that is truly necessary for these times.

So how do we put this message into practice? Any specific ideas on how we can be a missional church in today’s post-Christian society, while nonetheless retaining our doctrinal integrity?