Spencer's third cause for the imminent collapse of evangelical Christianity-
"There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive."
Spencer seems confident with these designations. David Wells sees the evangelical landscape with three divisions labeled: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents. I am not sure how to categorise the different strains that make up the "evangelical" church in the America. Defining "evangelical Christianity" is difficult enough, let alone determining what category the various churches fit. Spencer's labels are blunt and identifiable. I can think of churches who would proudly wear the "evangelical " label fitting each of his categories.
Here's the problem with Spencer's designations, as I see it- there are myriads of churches who do not fit precisely under the evangelical moniker, yet are considered evangelical by most onlookers. Two posts ago I sited Time's recent article that described "New Calvinism". In that article people like Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and Al Mohler are described as Calvinists, Reformed, and evangelical. My denomination will describe itself as Reformed and evangelical. Where do we fit? What category are we in? Time would have us believe such churches are growing, not declining. Maybe such churches will retain what is worthy about historic evangelicalism (belief in the Bible and Christ alone as Savior) but jettison it's negative traits? I see this as a good development. Maybe we are witnessing the fall of evangelical Christianity and the rise of something better? I hope so. Perhaps Spencer is too pessimistic about what the demise of evangelical Christianity would mean for the church in this country?