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A Catalyst for Change: A Case Study & Reflection on Culture Shift in American Evangelicalism By Dan Davis.

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Presentation on theme: "A Catalyst for Change: A Case Study & Reflection on Culture Shift in American Evangelicalism By Dan Davis."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Catalyst for Change: A Case Study & Reflection on Culture Shift in American Evangelicalism By Dan Davis

2 The ‘Emerging Church Movement’ is largely a post- modern & post-boomer-generation Evangelical reform movement, reacting against 80’s & 90’s over- identification with Right Wing political agendas. It will either: 1. If rejected: Aid the erosion of Evangelical numbers and influence. 2. If embraced: Alter Evangelical political alliances.

3 A Nationwide Poll* Revealed: In 1999, 65% of Americans believed that religion was losing its influence in public life … At the same time, a nearly equal amount, 62% claimed that the influence of religion was increasing in their personal lives. *Roof, Wade Clark Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

4 And the Survey Says: GSS: In 1985, 4.6% of U.S. Christians claimed no official denominational affiliation. In 2004, this had arisen to 18.5%. A Barna Poll (2009) found that between 4% to 33% of the U.S. population will say they have attended a house church in the last 30 days depending on how the question is worded.

5 Nationwide: Gallup, 1964: “Have you undergone a religious experience of some variety?”  20% Yes GSS, 2004: “Do you feel God’s presence on a daily basis?”  60% Yes Baylor, 2008: “I felt called by God to do something.”  44% Yes “I heard the voice of God speaking to me.”  20% Yes

6 Richard Flory & Don Miller, USC “Rationalistic apologetics are largely irrelevant to [GenX] religious commitments, having been replaced by an experience-based epistemology.” From: GenX Religion (2000)

7 Richard Flory & Don Miller, USC The Key Findings, Shifts in Five Areas: 1. Church Service Style 2. Organizational Structure 3. Locus of Ministry Emphasis 4. Issues of Diversity 5. Primary Source of Authority From: GenX Religion (2000)

8 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer* Observational Participatory Experiential Hierarchical Entrepreneurial Democratic InstitutionalPersonalCommunalHomogenousAnti-Prejudice Inclusive Ideals LegitimateRelevantAuthentic Style Structure Focus Diversity Authority *Post-Boomer Column Adapted from Flory & Miller (2000)

9 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer ObservationalParticipatoryExperiential Style

10 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer HeirarchichalEntrepreneurialDemocratic Structure Assortive NetworksDisassortive Networks

11 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer InstitutionalPersonalCommunal Focus

12 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer HomogenousAnti-Prejudice Inclusive Ideals Diversity Gene Robinson

13 Pre-Boomer BoomerPost-Boomer LegitimateRelevantAuthentic Authority

14 Summarizing Themes Future of Evangelicalism? As it recedes in religious market-share… As it decouples from Right Wing political alliances… Future of the Emerging Church? The shifts can be linked to broader nationwide generational shifts. See Putnam’s American Grace (2010).


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