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Sunday Morning, Staying Home

Are evangelicals quitting their churches at an epidemic level?

3:45 PM, Sep 2, 2008 • By TERRY EASTLAND
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According to Ms. Duin, churches dedicated to making disciples will "do well in this era of dumbed-down, purpose-driven, seeker-friendly Christianity." But is that really true? From a theological perspective, there is no guarantee that churches will prosper as they attempt to make disciples--if we judge prosperity by church membership alone. A church might conscientiously carry out its biblical tasks and yet, by measures of popularity, do poorly in this world. Such a church would not be doing right if it adjusted its mission for the sake of higher attendance records. Note that by the end of his ministry the number of disciples with Jesus was down to 12. Now there was a decent church, one might say, if a small one.

Terry Eastland is publisher of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal.