Amid Evangelical decline, growing split between young Christians and church elders (By Christian Science Monitor)

1. For years, it was more or less conventional thinking, especially among Evangelicals, that “churches that stay with a clear-cut theological orientation will not go the way of the mainlines,” notes Bill Leonard, professor of Baptist studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N. C. , citing the influential 1972 study, “Why Conservative Churches are Growing” by the sociologist Dean Kelley.

2. “As conservative denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention attempt to address sex and marriage and gender with public declarations like the Nashville Statement, these left-leaning young Evangelicals are pulling away more, so perhaps it’s created a catch 22,” says Ms. Vicari, who signed the statement.

3. Don’t get Maynard wrong: “At the root of evangelicalism there’s the call to evangelism, spreading the gospel, and I firmly believe that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life and that he put his church on Earth as a means to bringing other people into the family,” she says.

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