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Its time to challenge the myth of a dying church
There is a disconnect between the official accounts being peddled in political and media circles telling us that Christianity is on the decline in the West versus the reality of church growth on the ground. Why are such different pictures being painted? Sean Oliver-Dee suggests that the disconnect is deliberate. While setting the record straight on church growth, he exposes the social and political agenda that underpins the narrative of the death of faith.
Author Oliver-Dee proposes that the growth of the church is not being acknowledged because it contradicts three myths that the new establishment wants to assert: first, the gradual death of religion is a good excuse to ignore the views of Christians on public matters; second, encouraging Christianity to die would benefit society because religion is perceived as a primary cause of world violence; and third, there is a trajectory of progress focused around scientific enlightenment, which necessitates the death of faith.
God's Unwelcome Recovery reveals how the enduring nature and recent growth of the church runs contrary to all three assertions.
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Monarch Books
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.00 (inches)|
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Corrects misconceptions about the church in the UKDecember 13, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Oliver-Dee has written this book with two aims in mind. He wants to correct the mistaken impression of church decline in the UK and reveal the underlying agenda that drives the negativity toward the church.
He argues that some want religion to die a quiet death so they present a depressing picture of the church. We should be too enlightened, they say, to hold on to religion.
Oliver-Dee looks at the numbers in the first part of the book. I found this part of the book the least interesting but there were a few surprises. There have been far more Christians immigrating to the UK than Muslims. (37) There are more joining the Church of England than leaving. (43) I was surprised at the limited scope of some of the studies that identified spiritual decline.
He next investigates the motivations behind the presentation of religious decline. He looks at the history of the conflict between the regents and the church and the concerns about women. He corrects misconceptions and myths, such as that religion is a major source of violence.
He lastly calls for a more informed view of Christianity in Britain. It is sensible, he writes, to allow the church to re-engage in those areas of public service where it used to have a traditional role: welfare, education, and health. (143) He argues for a greater religious literacy so people will move away from treating all religions the same.
While the book is mostly about Christianity in the UK, there is a small section on the U.S. He notes that in the U.S. the polls are mixed but people do seem to be choosing faith, just not a denomination.
The book contains good information for a defense of Christianity against the accusations of secularists. The situation is not as dire as they would have us believe. Oliver-Dee argues that leaders and legislators need to correct their misconceptions so they can plan accordingly for the future.
The church is far from dying out and is even showing signs of growth. (171) This is a good book that clarifies that truth and dismantles the depressing misconceptions.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel for the purpose of an independent and honest review.