What do changing demographics have to do with the altar call?
Foreign Policy magazine recently published an article entitled, “Here’s looking at you, 2050.”* It is a fascinating piece by demographer Paul Taylor who projects several trends of population shifts in the coming decades. In sum, Christianity is expected to slow in growth while the Muslim population is expected to rise slightly.
Why is the growth of Christianity expected to slow? Taylor provides one key answer, saying that a significant number of children raised in Christian homes grow up to leave the faith. This is most prevalent in developed countries like the United States.
As odd as it may sound, these projected demographic changes make the study of the history of the altar call vitally urgent for the church today, especially in the United States. The altar call has created a certain view of the doctrine of conversion that, historically and theologically speaking, puts respondents on the path to eventually leave the faith. This shouldn’t surprise. If the church gets a person’s entry into Christianity wrong, how can they expect anything other than eventual exodus?
For most American Christians the altar call is the primary entry method into Christianity. As such it needs to be studied and understood. The Culture of Conversionism and the History of the Altar Call is designed to help the church learn about this methodology. If the church is to stop the mass exodus, it must first understand the history and theological assumptions of the altar call.
The Culture of Conversionism and the History of the Altar Call presents this needed research in an accessible way for the entire church. The book is available on Amazon as a Kindle e-book or in paperback.
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