White says we are facing a cultural challenge reflected in a new generation. Those who identify their religious identity as “nothing” has risen to 23 percent in the U.S. Former Christians now are at 19 percent of the U.S. adult population. We may be coming into the reality of a post-Christian world, he says. The Western church has not grasped this reality nor prepared an adequate response.
White has written this book to help the church understand this growing culture. He looks into the latest research, introduces Generation Z, identifies how the family context is changing, and explores a response by the church, including a new approach to evangelism and apologetics.
White knows this subject. The church he leads has over 70 percent of their growth from the unchurched. Their demographics have skewed younger every year for the last decade. He suggests that his church is reaching this post-Christian generation.
This book is certainly thought provoking. Exploring how Christians have recently related to society, White asks, “So if the fundamentalist approach did not work (becoming cloistered), and neither did that of the Religious Right (becoming combative), what will?” (79) He has many great suggestions for developing evangelism and apologetics for today's culture.
I highly recommend this book for pastors and church board members who desire to understand their church and its mission in this post-Christian culture. You will get some very practical ideas on how to be culturally engaged. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter will help groups analyze what White has written and move forward with action.
Food for thought: “God should look good on us to others.” (82)
“Never before have the habits of the mind mattered more.” (86)
My rating: 5/5 stars
James Emery White (PhD, Southern Seminary) is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, a suburban megachurch in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is the author of more than twenty books. You can find out more at http://jamesemerywhite.com
Baker Books, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.