Roger Olson on how to renew ‘mainline’ churches

This quote comes from the end of a piece on Roger’s blog called ‘Is There Vitality inRoger Olson Mainline Religion?’

So what are my prescriptions for revitalizing old-line Protestantism? First, I suggest they rediscover generous orthodoxy (a good phrase coined, so far as I know, by Hans Frei) and enforce it within their denominations. Most of them have confessional statements that have been largely ignored or allowed to be used so flexibly that they are virtually meaningless. That’s because they contain doctrines that modern Christians cannot stomach (e.g., the double decree). I suggest separating those out and affirming (with teeth) basic, historic, broadly orthodox Christian doctrines such as the deity of Christ, his resurrection, the Trinity and salvation by grace alone through faith. The flip side of this is expelling leaders who join Buddhist sects (etc.).

Second, I suggest they rediscover and encourage living Christian spiritual experiences—conversion-regeneration by means of personal repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ, sanctification through discipleship including infillings of the Holy Spirit, devotional life using Scripture and classical devotional literature.

Third, I suggest they discover blended worship with lively singing, worship teams and bands, and decrease their commitments to high liturgical worship as their sole style of worship.

Fourth, I suggest they rediscover the supernatural—belief in and experience of God actually answering prayers in ways beyond natural explanation—and encourage people to share their stories of that without embarrassment.

Read the rest here.

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