A facebook friend posted the above link which brings you to an article called “O Father Where Art Thou” by Jeff Chu. This story is on the state of churches and religion in present day Europe.
Such an interesting article, although I think some of the statistics are dated. I wonder why the writer took information from the Third Wave of the EVS (1999/2000) and not the more recent Fourth Wave (2008)?
What I hope, after having read this article, is that American churches will pay attention to what has happened in Europe, and not miss the opportunity we have to get to know the post-modern culture and realize that people in the USA also “find life very complicated,they want to meet people who are searching and want to share their hopes and doubts”, just as was stated by Brother Emilie about the people of France.
The most intriguing statement in the story to me was the one given by Exeter University sociologist Grace Davie as she commented on the surprisingly high number of people who still believe that a religious service is important at death and marriage, and in which she says this clear “yearning for something beyond” has lead to “a funny mixture of what we have in modern Europe, which is still a religious sensibility, but a loss of the traditon and knowledge base.” How does a nation restore tradition and a knowledge base? It is very hard, if not impossible, to play catch-up regarding Christian knowledge and traditions, especially when both are often excluded from many homes as well as public education. (How anyone can teach Western history without acknowledging the Christian influences that came with it is beyond me, but that style of teaching being attempted today in post-modern USA.)
Of course, God is sovereign, and He can bring about a great revival where ever He chooses to do so. But I hope that we in Amercia will not let this time of grace slip away. Let’s not allow the churches in America to become like the museum/cathedral of Chartres, which, as Mr Chu says, ” In its ancient glory and modern angst, … becomes strangely emblematic of Christianity right now.”