We All Need a Place to Be Real

A few years ago, my wife and I spent three weeks in Great Britain and Ireland, visiting locations where the presence and power of God had been felt in genuine spiritual revival in years past. We were part of a group of 50 people, all evangelical Christians from the United States. I returned from that trip with two convictions etched deeply into my soul. The first was this: our world is in desperate need of a renewal of biblical Christianity. The second: contemporary American evangelical Christianity is not it.

What I observed among my fellow travelers, many of whom were pastors of evangelical congregations, was a sterile, superficial imitation of biblical faith. I don’t question the genuineness of their conversion experience, but my heart aches when I consider how much the character of their religion reflected the spirit of American consumerism—how they described the scope of their ministries in terms of programs and property, budgets and buildings, nickels and noses. And it seemed clear to me that they marketed Jesus the way American businesses market their products… “Try our brand and your life will be better. Just ask our satisfied customers.” Continue reading