The census figures on spiritual perception in Britain got here as no shock to these of us on the frontline of evangelism right here.
The overall image they reveal confirms what we’ve lengthy identified: Christianity is not the default spiritual perception in our society and has been changed by a posh and regionally various mosaic of various sorts of perception and unbelief.
Intimately, what these figures imply is far more durable to find out. As a result of statistics on spiritual beliefs like these fail to tell apart between creed and tradition, they’re unable to discriminate between those that wholeheartedly follow a religion and those that merely belong to it by start.
Nonetheless, the decline in these contemplating themselves as Christians can’t be ignored and on this, maybe perversely, there may be excellent news.
Many people have lengthy had the sensation that choices on the highest degree of many Christian denominations have been ruled by an unstated precept of what is perhaps known as ‘quietly managed retreat’; a defeatist perspective that accepts decline and by doing so, manages to attain it.
Amid this gloomy complacency, these census figures must be a bellowing alarm: the aircraft is descending so quickly that until motion is taken catastrophe looms imminently.
We want a greater, extra optimistic and extra dynamic technique. For my part, and I declare the Bible on my aspect, what is required just isn’t a stripped-down creed tuned to the prevailing temper of the tradition.
That will not work: nobody goes to church to listen to precisely what they get from the media and from their mates and colleagues. What is going to convey them in and see them dedicated to the church is the full- blooded, assured preaching of Christ within the energy of the Holy Spirit.
Paradoxically the way in which to vary the census figures is to disregard them and as a substitute deal with producing modified lives via Jesus Christ.