declining church attendance

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

“A lot of times churches are trying to preserve the legacy of who founded the congregations founded long ago,” said Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop of the ELCA. “When you try to hold on to something so tightly, you strangle it. Taking a risk while being faithful to the core message of grace is my advice.”

Stephen Mattson 8-23-2013
An open Bible. Photo courtesy Oleg Begunenco/shutterstock.com.

An open Bible. Photo courtesy Oleg Begunenco/shutterstock.com.

Much of Westernized Christianity’s recent decline has been blamed on the failure of churches and denominations to adapt to modern times — either becoming irrelevant or, contrarily, becoming too commercialized and “fake,” creating a superficial form of faith that drives parishioners away from institutionalized religion.

Lost in the conversation is a much deeper issue, one that revolves around losing confidence in the Bible.

For years churches have glossed over, rationalized, and provided shallow answers to thorny Biblical problems that are no longer being ignored — and it’s becoming harder to defend texts that appear contradictory and culturally irrelevant.

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