Interviewed at the recent Third Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization, held in Cape Town, South Africa last week, the Anglican author and incisive social critic Os Guinness identified three major religious issues facing the world today: "Religion has not disappeared; it is furiously alive and as well as ever. The three major issues are: Will Islam modernize peacefully? Which Faith will fill the vacuum in China? and, Will the West sever or recover its roots in the Judeo/Christian faith?"
Guinness also labelled Christianity the first "global religion": "It is the fastest growing [religion] in the world with the Bible the most translatable book in human history.”
But he had some harsh criticisms for liberal Western church leaders, especially in the US: "The clarity and courage of the African and Asian Christian leaders does not characterize Christian leaders in the West. The Christian Church in the West has never seen such a level of apostasy and heresy as seen in the United States.
"The Episcopal Church is the greatest disgrace in Christian history and it is being led down the path by so called Christian leadership."*
“Western Protestant liberals have lost their collective theological nerve. Our life is to live out the truth. His word is truth, we can live out the truth."
* For Australian readers, 'The Episcopal Church' is the US branch of the Anglican Communion. As a resident of the US for over 25 years, Guinness has an insider's view of the travails of American Anglicanism.
Oh, in case you're wondering: Yes, Guinness (D. Phil., Oxford) is a scion of the famous Anglo-Irish brewing family, a direct descendant of its founder, Arthur Guinness. His parents were medical missionaries in pre-Communist China. His books are well written and accessible to the general Christian reader, somewhat in the manner of C. S. Lewis. I have recently read his 'God in the Dark', a popular level exploration of faith and doubt which I highly recommend, especially to pastors, who will find much in it which can be applied in ministry.