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Source: (consider it) Thread: Inviting friends to church
SvitlanaV2
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I didn't say that Christianity was growing everywhere, nor at all times. I was referring to rapid growth, not growth that simply occurs along with the population. It's fairly obvious that churches are more likely to grow where there is significant and long term engagement in evangelism.

I also accept that demographics are very important: evangelicals often have more children, and defections are therefore balanced by those who stay. Liberal and mainstream Christians have far fewer children, so defections plus the reluctance to evangelise are much more of a problem.

As for poaching from the RC, I suppose it depends on what you mean by being RC. I understand that many South Americans are RC in the sense that many English people are CofE; they're not devout. So for some individuals who become evangelicals there it won't be a matter of swapping one form of devotion for another. As for Africa, does evangelical conversion on that continent occur mainly at the expense of the RCC? That's surprising.

From what I've read, evangelical Christianity worldwide isn't dying, and conversion is still important to its growth (see p. 11 of this document). That whole essay does acknowledge that there are very many challenges. But then again, moderate and liberal Christianity faces even greater challenges.

When church members are routinely unwilling or unable to introduce their friends or family to their church community that's a significant challenge for the religion at a pretty basic level.

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
It's not part of mainstream church culture to invite friends to church. Even the clergy who politely ask us to do it make it seem like an optional, marginal thing. They offer no advice as to how it might be done without embarrassment.
*snip*

Depends on the local mainstream. I have found, when visiting my wintering-south-of-the-border mother in Florida, that inviting one's friends to church is a major phenomenon--- I do not know if this is so elsewhere in the US. There is much discussion on this, and when a new person arrives in the neighbourhood, colleagues and neighbours will often invite them to join them on Sunday morning.

As well, this happens in some parts of Canada. A financial bureaucrat of my acquaintance, Rwandan in origin, francophone, and limply RC, was transferred to Calgary, and within two weeks had four church-going invitations. Flustered, he called me and asked me if this was normal. It was a form of local hospitality, I assured him, while the music might be frightful, he would be well-fed, and he might meet an interesting young woman.

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SvitlanaV2
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Ah. Perhaps it's a North American thing.
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
An old saying I once heard, I heard, and liked, describes evangelism as where a hungry person tells another hungry person where to find food.

t

I have also heard that, but I think the problem is often that the church person seems to be far more in need of food than the person they are telling. So why follow them to food when they seem to be sick all the time? Sort of.

The comparison with being invited out for a meal is not really accurate. It is more like "would you fancy coming to our lodge meeting tonight?" which, I suspect, would prove as difficult and problematic.

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Martin60
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SvitlanaV2. Robust as ever, but show me please. Where net growth is anything other than by birth. Growth from the unchurched, the secular, the nominal is, order of magnitude, 1:1000 From other religious an order of magnitude less.

And in another place.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Why invite them to church?
I'd invite them to a peace rally or other demo - as i often have.

However, the OP was particularly about inviting a friend to church ...
But it was also about 'evangelism' and not everyone equates evangelism with 'bums on pews'.

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Gramps49
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I have seen reports that the German church is growing due to conversions from Muslim refugees. The conversions are largely due to the perceived failure of Islam for its adherents.
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Martin60
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That's some claim.

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Gramps49
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Martin60

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/muslim-refugees-converting-to-christianity-in-germany-crisis-asylum-seekers-mi grants-iran-a7466611.html

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Martin60
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Thank you Gramps49. Fascinating. But predictable in hindsight. Water finding its own level. Out of a million people I'd expect a thousand to convert. I wonder what the 'apostasy' rate has been for Turkish migrants over 60 years?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
SvitlanaV2. Robust as ever, but show me please. Where net growth is anything other than by birth. Growth from the unchurched, the secular, the nominal is, order of magnitude, 1:1000 From other religious an order of magnitude less.

Well, firstly, I'm not sure if we disagree as much as you think we do.

I've already said that there are incredible challenges for the Christian religion in many places. I've accepted that transmission from parents to children is important for maintaining churches, and that growth is likely when large numbers of children are born to Christian parents.

I also accept that converting people who already have a knowledge of the faith may be easier - although some say that it can also be harder, because such knowledge (even if it's very hazy) can also act as a kind of inoculation against anything more meaningful. In fact, you could argue that such inoculation has been the standard European 'Christian' response to revivals and evangelical overtures across the centuries.

However, it doesn't seem controversial to state that evangelistic effort is likely to create more conversion growth than not. The article I linked to above is by a respected statistician, and it states that evangelistic efforts are significant.

Morever, I've just read that the countries where evangelicalism is growing fastest are not primarily those where lots of lapsed RCs or other nominal Christians are present. The growth is obviously occurring from a very low base in many such countries.

As for Britain, having studied the experience of the Presbyterian Church in Wales John Hayward, the owner of the Church Growth Modelling blog, claims that the falling membership of British churches from the late 19th c. onwards is particularly due to a drop in the rate of conversion (which is a variable term, of course). The defection of members' children has always occurred, but the author doesn't think it had a severe impact even into the 1960s, although I'm sure that since then it's become more significant.

Hayward sees the absence of revival as problematic, since revival is about increased enthusiasm, evangelism (no doubt including inviting friends to church) and hence conversions, but he does accept that revivals are cyclical.

So, if you're saying that Christians are often highly ineffective at sharing their faith then I would agree with you wholeheartedly. But to say that evangelism is irrelevant, that conversion is just a matter of RCs and various Protestants playing musical chairs seems to be something short of the truth.

Finally, we might agree that many churches as they are today aren't the best places to invite friends to. It would be interesting to consider whether there are certain churches that are much more accessible, and why.

[ 01. April 2017, 12:28: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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First class SvitlanaV2, thank you. I read the previous link. I accept the analysis that thanks to growth in the developing world some of the evangelical tribes are growing within static proportion Christianity. In the UK they are marginally growing in collapsing Christianity and will become the largest part of the irreducible minimum mid-century. Less than 1% of the population. I still conclude that revival is not possible in secular, developed societies; that conversion is a function of rapid development and stops with that. Demographically Islam can't lose initially throughout Europe by next century.

[ 01. April 2017, 14:48: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Gramps49
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Several of the nons that replied have said they are turned off by the church, and there is the comment that church is not a place to invite people to. This leads to the question:

What is it about church that turns people off?

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Brenda Clough
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My church has tried to set up regular occasions that the wider community can come to. The used book sale, the Easter egg hunt (my God, what a mob scene)-- these are intensely popular. The hope is to get people used to the idea of showing up.

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Bishops Finger
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The same thing applies to Our Place's jumble/rummage/book sales, Christmas/Summer Bazaars, Quiz Night etc. We used to have about 10 various events during the year, but have now slimmed this down a little to 6-7.

The amount of £££ raised is unimportant - having the doors open, the kettle on, and the bacon sizzling is important. Attendances are often low, but there's usually at least one or two pastoral conversations/baptism enquiries happening, and a few of our now-regulars have come to us through one of these social events, as we think of them.

IJ

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Brenda Clough
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When the regular congregants have to carve through a seething waist-high horde of happy children, this is actually a good thing for a church. (We assure each other.)

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
What is it about church that turns people off?

Where I come from the traditional rural church scene is 50 years beyond it's sell by date. The whole edifice and culture has changed beyond recognition. People have drifted away, congregations have evaporated. Not through any great act of defiance but more, one only can presume, as a gradual response to the general de-sanctification of Sundays.
There is a charismatic scene in nearby bigger towns which, as far as I can gather, can sometimes pack a hall. But I suppose the question you ask is better answered by the modern majority who appear to want no truck with Christian worship whatsoever, in any shape or form.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I accept the analysis that thanks to growth in the developing world some of the evangelical tribes are growing within static proportion Christianity. In the UK they are marginally growing in collapsing Christianity and will become the largest part of the irreducible minimum mid-century. Less than 1% of the population. I still conclude that revival is not possible in secular, developed societies; that conversion is a function of rapid development and stops with that. Demographically Islam can't lose initially throughout Europe by next century.

Globally Islam is destined to overtake Christianity by 2070. But it'll only be the faith of 10% of people in Europe by that point. So what do you mean when you say 'Islam can't lose' demographically in Europe? I think it's important to try to be accurate here, because quite a number of Islamophobes on the net are stirring up fear and potential aggression by predicting an Islamic future for Europe.

What could happen in the British case is that we find a higher number of committed Muslims than committed Christians; but the vast majority of inhabitants wouldn't be committed to either religion. This situation is developing in Birmingham, for example, and Islam is already a more prominent spiritual and cultural force in that the city than Christianity. We don't know what the societal outcome of this changing landscape will be.

With regards to revival, I don't think it's currently possible here mainly because most Western Christians don't really want it. Christianity has become a private religion in our culture, and we expect to engage with it for our own personal reasons. We may worry about church decline, but that in itself isn't the foundation of revivals. I should think they grow out of an urgency born of a deep spiritual burden, but I don't sense that in the churches I know, although they're doing various things as outreach.

But non-religious modernising societies aren't inevitably barren territory for Christianity; the faith has grown massively in China, despite having a relatively small presence. But in Communist China Christianity benefits from being a cause to be fought for, to live and die for. I don't think Christians in Europe normally perceive their religion in this way.

[ 01. April 2017, 20:00: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
What is it about church that turns people off?

You see, for me, it leads to the question "Why are we so focussed on church?"

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Martin60
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It'll take a while, but I cannot see how Islam can't completely demographically subvert Europe within the same timeframe it took Christianity to subvert the Roman empire. As you realise, it will be the only religious show in town above the Pyrenees, Alps, Balkans, west of the Oder, Wherever there are folk religions, they will survive a while.

Look at its resurgence throughout the former Soviet empire. Its character is hardening in Indonesia and Turkey.

Christianity in China has always waxed and waned since the Tang dynasty. It's had its day again.

Nothing in the West can facilitate significant Christian revival apart from its collapse prior to its Islamicization. And that would just be a cycle of folk religion.

Nothing but something new. Emergent. Something that can subvert Islam.

Make a good Children of Men + type social sci-fi scenario.

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Gramps49
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Because it goes to the original question?

Because there is the hope that when a person is invited, they will benefit from the experience and become Christian.

Because it is estimated a majority of nons will likely accept an invitation to church.

Because a third of new Christians will say the invitation to church was the beginning of their conversion.

Church is a place where people share their faith through worship and fellowship.

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Several of the nons that replied have said they are turned off by the church, and there is the comment that church is not a place to invite people to. This leads to the question:

What is it about church that turns people off?

I think rolyn has summed it up. Before all the home-based visual entertainment, starting with TV for a few hours a day and giving us all that we have today, church attendance was something many people did as a matter of course and to question the rightness of this or whether religious belief had any facts under-pinning it was absolute taboo.
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
But I suppose the question you ask is better answered by the modern majority who appear to want no truck with Christian worship whatsoever, in any shape or form.

I agree with this, but the grand events which involve all the pomp, colour and ceremony would leave a big hole if they disappeared; so I think a pragmatic approach is required!

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:


Nothing in the West can facilitate significant Christian revival apart from its collapse prior to its Islamicization. And that would just be a cycle of folk religion.

The demographic collapse of Christianity in Europe in particular is highly likely, but I don't know what this has to do with Islamizisation. You haven't provided links to any studies that show a connection. Neither have you provided any supporting material to bolster your earlier claim that Christianity will collapse worldwide. What you've mainly done is re-emphasise your desire to see the destruction of evangelicalism.

Myself, I have wondered if large-scale church collapse in the UK might beneficially lead to a kind of renewal among the remaining Christians. But I feel that this would have to include Christians becoming more willing and able to share their renewed faith with other people - it would have to involve the spiritual burden of inviting friends to 'church', however re-defined, at some stage.

Good works alone have been tried with conviction by the moderate mainstream (and I've been a member of such churches!) and they must obviously be a part of any outpouring of Christian love and care towards the world, but we must face facts and state that they haven't halted church decline; and in some cases this singular focus has deflected churches from their role of mutual spiritual nurturing, and left them with little to offer spiritual seekers. This should give emerging evangelicals pause for thought!

You'll no doubt disagree with this, from your position as a former evangelical. But your talk of cycles does apply here; many of today's moderate churches were once evangelical, and many of today's evangelicals are tomorrow's moderates. Things move on. Just be aware that the cycle then moves towards institutional death, and the birth of new evangelical movements. There's no precedent for the wholesale death of evangelicalism and the consequent rise of a kind of liberal Christian, works-focused, Islam-defying spirituality!

[ 02. April 2017, 00:09: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Because it goes to the original question?

Because there is the hope that when a person is invited, they will benefit from the experience and become Christian.

Because it is estimated a majority of nons will likely accept an invitation to church.

Because a third of new Christians will say the invitation to church was the beginning of their conversion.

Church is a place where people share their faith through worship and fellowship.

But what of those for whom the invitation or the experience is negative? For whom it confirms their view that Christianity is outdated an irrelevant? Who will be far more reluctant next time, which might have been a more appropriate situation?

I am sure that for many, they mark the point of their faith journey from being invited to church. but, given that they have stayed, I suspect the course was started with friends talking to them, with care and consideration before the invite. It is not the invite that makes the difference, it is the context.

It is always bad to assess a strategy purely by those it has worked for. Especially without knowing the full scale of the strategy. What if those who came and stayed were just 1% of those who were asked? Does that make it a success? Does that make it a reasonable strategy? Probably not.

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Martin60
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SvitlanaV2 thanks again. The collapse of Christianity in northern Europe has been underway for two centuries. Now the population is collapsing. Germany has had to import a million and a half Muslims to sustain its age structure. Post Brexit in two years England and Wales will have critically insufficient hospitality, agriculture and health sector workers. It's all about indigenous population dynamics.

I don't want evangelicalism to collapse, I want it to transcend, to metamorphose in incarnational synergy with Islam and the faithless.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Because it goes to the original question?

Because there is the hope that when a person is invited, they will benefit from the experience and become Christian.

Because it is estimated a majority of nons will likely accept an invitation to church.

Because a third of new Christians will say the invitation to church was the beginning of their conversion.

Church is a place where people share their faith through worship and fellowship.

How is that estimated?

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SvitlanaV2
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Scholars do disagree as to the dating of Christian decline in Europe, certainly with regards to the UK. Some take a gradualist view, others think it was far more recent and sudden thing.

However, I'm not sure how either position really helps your cause. The gradualist view surely presents an even stronger argument against any kind of sudden transformation of evangelicalism into the kind of Christianity you imagine.

As for the European population, it is indeed in demographic decline, but although I live in a strongly Muslim area I'm not convinced that Muslims in particular are going to make up the shortfall. I'd be grateful for links to any (non-Islamophobic) material which seriously has that as a projection.

And it's hard to see how a large number of mostly young Muslims are going to be converted by a small number of aging, liberal Christians. (For a start, the two groups frequently live separate lives, although there is some interfaith work going on in the citiest.) It just doesn't seem very realistic to me - no more realistic than the prediction of a worldwide evangelical revival.

But I accept that we all have to have our own vision for the future.

[ 02. April 2017, 11:46: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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I agree completely SvitlanaV2. I have no truck with Islamaphobia, but cannot see how Europe cannot be ethnically Islamicized within a couple or three centuries.

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rolyn
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Do you see islamisation as inevitable in Europe and elsewhere?
I foresee a more Secular future with most religions having laspsed followers the longer time goes on.
Or would this be a vacuum of degeneration that must be filled with the order that only religious adherence can provide?

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I agree with this, but the grand events which involve all the pomp, colour and ceremony would leave a big hole if they disappeared; so I think a pragmatic approach is required!

The Royal Family will start to look increasingly out out a limb as UK Christianity CofE style, continues to decline. I guess it will all end up as a pageant of props with no real substance, other than the hopes and dreams that folk normally carry around in their heads.

On a separate note I suspect we already have a situation where only a minority could name the ABC, and that's with modern media.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Do you see islamisation as inevitable in Europe and elsewhere?
I foresee a more Secular future with most religions having laspsed followers the longer time goes on.
Or would this be a vacuum of degeneration that must be filled with the order that only religious adherence can provide?

Aye, I see it as absolutely inevitable throughout north west Europe. From France to Germany all the way on up. Nothing can temporarily secularize Islam apart from communist suppression and that can never repeat in west Eurasia.

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Bishops Finger
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Martin60 said:

I don't want evangelicalism to collapse, I want it to transcend, to metamorphose in incarnational synergy with Islam and the faithless.

I think ISWYM, but could you unpack this a little, and tell us what we Christian remnant should do about it (if anything)?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
[I ] cannot see how Europe cannot be ethnically Islamicized within a couple or three centuries.

If the current minority of Muslims in Europe are to overtake all other people on the continent within 200 years then birthrates alone won't do it, because there aren't enough Muslims here now to give birth to them all. It'll either have to be through increased immigration from Muslim counties, or through vast numbers of conversions. Neither is inevitable. Countries are able to control the number and the origins of the immigrants they take - if they want to. And although there have been some conversions, these haven't occurred in high enough numbers to change the wider community.

OTOH, the predicted secularisation of British Muslim Asian youth as mentioned by rolyn hasn't really come to pass. In fact many of them have become more religious (or more radical) than their parents or grandparents. The reality of white flight from certain cities and large towns also means there's less social integration of some Muslims into the secularised European mindset, and this may continue to be an issue as the Muslim populations in those places increase. Muslims are also less likely to marry out. But it depends on which Muslims we mean and where in the country they live.

It's apparently very likely that non-white people will be in the majority in Britain by 2100. (This finding appears to be referenced in quite a few scholarly texts, such as here.) But that doesn't mean that most of them will be Muslims.

[ 02. April 2017, 16:33: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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SvitlanaV2
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The same author talks about Europe and its Muslim population here.

France has a high Muslim population, but it's also a highly secularised one, with many Muslims marrying out, and many maintaining a birth rate similar to the rest of the society.

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Bishops Finger
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Of course, the Holy Spirit may have other plans.

Best not to forget Her, or leave Her out of your oh-so-gloomy prognostications.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I agree with this, but the grand events which involve all the pomp, colour and ceremony would leave a big hole if they disappeared; so I think a pragmatic approach is required!

The Royal Family will start to look increasingly out out a limb as UK Christianity CofE style, continues to decline. I guess it will all end up as a pageant of props with no real substance, other than the hopes and dreams that folk normally carry around in their heads.

On a separate note I suspect we already have a situation where only a minority could name the ABC, and that's with modern media.

Actually,. I've been thinking: bearing in mind the increasing choice for namings, weddings and funerals, of Humanist Celebrants, those who organise all the state stuff could work out a non-religious form of words which would suit everyone! [Smile]
On the whole, the British are quite good at doing that sort of thing!

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Bishops Finger
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Or, of course, we could do away altogether with that ridiculous nonsense known as The Monarchy And The Royal Family....

...I'll get me coat, before the Beefeaters arrive to haul me off to the Tower.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Islam is ~5% of UK population, with the most in England. France has 10%, though only about 4% indicate that they practice the faith. Germany may be about 5% as well. In Canada, it's about 3%.

People always seem to over-estimate the proportion of the population who are Muslim. In all our countries.

Our experience in Canada, which has the highest foreign-born population of the G8 countries, is that the generation born elsewhere adheres quite tightly to their religion, language and culture. Their children struggle between the 2 worlds - that of parents' country or origin and the new country. The third generation loses most of the language and culture. Totally gone by the 4th. All successive generations tell the previous ones to eff off in increments. We are relatively early on in the Islamic immigration.

A boring, but possibly informative story.... My province of residence (Saskatchewan) has for origins: 13% Ukrainian, 30% German, 7% Norwegian and 3% Russian for example. Except for the First Nations (indigenous peoples) everyone is an immigrant before 4 generations ago (90% of us). Three and four generations after settlement, we do hear the term "it smarts" for pain, people eat periogies, shisliki, herring and holodets and but no-one speaks the languages any more except a few grammas and aficionados. There are similarly empty Ukrainian Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Old Colony, and Mennonite churches. People go to weddings where it's all fusion. The go to school and paint pysanka. Scottish kids take up Ukrainian dancing.

Give a few generations and the Muslims will do what everyone does: marry Filipino catholics, do the butterfly at Ukrainian weddings, play hockey with Pakistanis and everyone celebrates Gung Haggis Fat Choy.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Bishops Finger
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Exactly, and in a generation or so the whole human population will be coffee-coloured...(but don't tell the UKippers that).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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trouty
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The self-flagellation on here is so predictable and boring.
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Bishops Finger
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To whom do you refer? Do tell....

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
[I ] cannot see how Europe cannot be ethnically Islamicized within a couple or three centuries.

If the current minority of Muslims in Europe are to overtake all other people on the continent within 200 years then birthrates alone won't do it, because there aren't enough Muslims here now to give birth to them all. It'll either have to be through increased immigration from Muslim counties, or through vast numbers of conversions. Neither is inevitable. Countries are able to control the number and the origins of the immigrants they take - if they want to. And although there have been some conversions, these haven't occurred in high enough numbers to change the wider community.

OTOH, the predicted secularisation of British Muslim Asian youth as mentioned by rolyn hasn't really come to pass. In fact many of them have become more religious (or more radical) than their parents or grandparents. The reality of white flight from certain cities and large towns also means there's less social integration of some Muslims into the secularised European mindset, and this may continue to be an issue as the Muslim populations in those places increase. Muslims are also less likely to marry out. But it depends on which Muslims we mean and where in the country they live.

It's apparently very likely that non-white people will be in the majority in Britain by 2100. (This finding appears to be referenced in quite a few scholarly texts, such as here.) But that doesn't mean that most of them will be Muslims.

Given both of those main observations, worst case we'll end up with Indian style communalism. I know from my neighbourhood that Islam is a very broad and deep church. Our diversity is remarkable and hopefully contributes to our pluralism and binary communalism just can't happen.

--------------------
Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Of course, the Holy Spirit may have other plans.

Best not to forget Her, or leave Her out of your oh-so-gloomy prognostications.

IJ

Sophia can plan all She likes, She won't show Her hand any more than She has in 1950 years.

--------------------
Love wins

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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No dear Martin. We'll end up with increased brand-name worship. Brands are the tribal god images of the 21st century. Much more so than countries.
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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
No dear Martin. We'll end up with increased brand-name worship. Brands are the tribal god images of the 21st century. Much more so than countries.

Indeed. More people have heard of Nike than have heard of Manitoba or, looking at sovereign countries, Mauritania or Uruguay.

No Prophet's flag picture is slightly different in those provinces with diverse school systems, such as Ontario, and Québec. For this reason, the immigrant churches likely have another generation's life, but our weather crushes all attempts at lasting ethnic enclaves, as does high school life hammering into oblivion traditional male/female roles in many communities. In the meantime, we have a whole new general of hockey maniacs, for this appears to be the religion to which all comfortably take their neighbours.

[ 02. April 2017, 22:08: Message edited by: Augustine the Aleut ]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:


Give a few generations and the Muslims will do what everyone does: marry Filipino catholics, do the butterfly at Ukrainian weddings, play hockey with Pakistanis and everyone celebrates Gung Haggis Fat Choy.

This is probably more likely in Vancouver than in, say, Birmingham or Bradford. The demographic elements are probably different. For example, the rates of intermarriage among Pakistani Muslims here are still low, even after three generations. After all, they frequently live among other Pakistani Muslims.

But it's true that other groups are intermarrying at high rates.

quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Of course, the Holy Spirit may have other plans.

Best not to forget Her, or leave Her out of your oh-so-gloomy prognostications.

IJ

I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, but the question is, what does the Spirit want? Does the Spirit work entirely independently, or does she expect us to do our part?

The Spirit has blessed us in many ways, but I fear that the Spirit is not particularly pleased with us at this time. We don't seem to be in a fit state for revivals - and if our churches aren't places that we want our friends to visit then what use are our churches to revival anyway?

The Spirit allowed the early churches in North Africa to be almost entirely extinguished in due course, so there is a precedent for that outcome. Fortunately, I don't follow Martin in believing that Christianity worldwide will collapse, but neither can I believe that the Spirit will randomly bestow special power upon some kind of post-evangelical spirituality.

If we had more fear and trembling among us it might feel as though something were in the air. Maybe I'm missing something. Does anyone else here feel something in their bones? Does anyone have a prophecy concerning their children's children? Or are we hiding from the truth, which is that the Spirit isn't going to lead the likes of many of us to greater things?

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Gamaliel
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Would the Holy Spirit bestow power on a kind of 'pre-catholic' spirituality?

We talk about post-evangelicals, but for the first 1500 years of Christianity most Christians were pre-evangelicals ...

[Biased]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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SvitlanaV2
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Well, Martin seems particularly concerned about what happens to evangelicalism. He doesn't seem so exercised about the other historical expressions of Christianity. He feels, I think, that because many of them have grown even weaker than evangelicalism they have little to offer to the transformed and transformative Christianity that he hopes will develop in the future.

OTOH, as we know, Christianity will belong increasingly to the global south. The distinctions we make between evangelical and pre-/non-evangelical in our Anglophone Western environment don't seem to work in quite the same way in other very different settings. And regardless of what problems exist in churches elsewhere can we expect ordinary global Christians in their pews to give serious attention to Western-based approaches to faith that have hardly maintained themselves on their home territory? The secret is surely out by now.

Ultimately, it's hard not to see Martin's notion of some glorious post-evangelicalism as just a moderate-liberal, social justice-focused, rational theology writ large - an extension of what you can already find in many declining 'traditional' Western congregations. But what's going to make the new version more irresistible than the current one? Are its affiliates going to be any better at inviting friends to church??

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Gamaliel
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Sure, I agree with that ... But is it all about 'inviting friends to Church'?

I don't know what the answer is. I don't envisage any great and glorious future any more than I believe there was ever a Golden Age in the past.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Martin60 said:

I don't want evangelicalism to collapse, I want it to transcend, to metamorphose in incarnational synergy with Islam and the faithless.

I think ISWYM, but could you unpack this a little, and tell us what we Christian remnant should do about it (if anything)?

IJ

It looks like SvitlanaV2 has shot my fox!

Gamaliel too.

I agree there is not even a hint of strong benevolent incarnationality in Europe apart from the odd Oasis. That Christianity is not going to embrace the other - Islam above all - without compromise. I.e. it must not compromise the creed any more than Islam can its. And it must embrace Islam. Although that's impossible now in Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Manchester, Blackburn, Preston, Leeds, Bradford. Its arms aren't big enough and never will be again.

Not without subversion. Of schooling and all the community activity that gyrates around that.

The South (i.e. sub-Saharan Africa) has nothing to offer but numbers by birth. It has no emergent theology. It oppresses Islam (Nigeria), gays (Uganda).

If the Holy Spirit is going to start leavening anywhere, it's in and from Waterloo. Whose caravanserais do reach the South.

--------------------
Love wins

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