The problem of nominal Christianity for evangelical churches was discussed at a recent Lausanne Movement conference.
Lars Dahle, a theology and journalism professor in Norway, who participated in a March 2018 Lausanne Movement conference in Rome that analyzed nominal Christianity, admitted in an interview with Evangelical Focus that the challenges begin by even trying to define the term.
“To define that was actually not as easy as it might sound. There was a growing understanding among all of us [at the conference] that this is a very complex reality, and we wanted to be fair in how we represent other people. We also wanted to be realistic, knowing that this is not just about everyone else, but also about our own church traditions within the evangelical contexts,” Dahle shared.
“And even, if I may add, something about the personal challenging dimension: to what extent do I and each one of us have an authentic life, living out the gospel, being close to Christ?”
The professor said that the five days of discussion at the Lausanne Movement’s Global Consultation conference were intense, but at the end, managed to come up with one definition of the term: “People who identify with a Christian church, or the Christian faith, but are in contradiction with basic Christian principles, with respect to becoming a Christian, Christian faith, Christian beliefs, church involvement and daily life.”
Dahle argued that one of the big problems with nominal Christianity has to do with just how much confusion there is in the church today over controversial topics.
“We wanted to be realistic about the fact that there is a lot of moral confusion going on in the name of the Christian church. One area would obviously be sexual morality: the move away from a truly biblical holistic understanding of sexuality is very obvious in many churches. And of course that has legitimized — in many people’s eyes — a new view of sexuality, because the church seems to be behind it, at least some parts of the church,” he said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov