THREE ARTICLES IN this issue examine the various ways the church is in a process of radical transformation. In our cover feature, Peter Chin looks at the likely cataclysmic disruption ahead—particularly for the institutional church—as growing numbers of pastors consider leaving ministry. In our Commentary section, sociologist Michael O. Emerson draws on extensive research and concludes that many white U.S. Christians repeatedly place being white ahead of being Christian—so much that they’re practicing, in effect, a “religion of whiteness.” And Lexi McMenamin explores how some Christian colleges and universities continue to treat LGBTQ students as second-class citizens, and how alumni are stepping in to support equal rights and affirming spaces for all students.
While such uncertainties can be troubling, Chin encourages us to see them through the eyes of faith, with the understanding that God is the architect of the transformation: “God is like a winemaker exchanging the old wineskins for new.” Such a perspective, Chin explains, will allow us to see God’s handiwork “even in the chaos around us” and help prepare us for the journey ahead.
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