Predictions about the future of Christianity:
Roman Catholic Cardinal Arinze delivered a talk at the Center for
Muslim-Christian Understanding in Georgetown University, in
Washington D.C, on 1997-JUN-5. The topic was "Christian and Muslim relation
in the 21st
century." He began his talk by mentioning that Christians comprise
about 33% of the world's population, and Muslims include about 18%. This means
that most humans follow one of these two great monotheistic religions. He
suggests that Muslims and Christians might want to concentrate on making
progress in the following areas:
||Obtain better knowledge of each other, both through informal
contacts and dedicated, specialized, academic study.|
||Develop respect for their differences; develop respect for each
||Increase dialog at the level of "daily life in the family, in the
workplace or in other social activities", inter-religious
cooperation, theological topics, and exchange of religious experience. |
||Avoid conflict, hatred, tension, and violence. Follow the
ethic of reciprocity by cooperating and improving society.|
||Islam and Christianity should actively promote peace:
||The Second Vatican Council exhorted Muslims and
Christians to "make common cause of safeguarding and fostering
social justice, moral values, peace and freedom" (Nostra
Aetate, cf. n. 3).
||Pope John Paul II on 1994-NOV-3 insisted that: "...religious
leaders must clearly show that they are pledged to the promotion of
peace precisely because of their religious belief" 1
"It is, above all, necessary to educate one's coreligionists to
accept and respect others and to co≠operate with them to promote
peace. This dimension of Christian≠Muslim relations is most
important for the century which humanity is about to enter." 1
||The remainder of his speech dealt with:
||Obstacles and challenges which will make inter-religious
||Ways of meeting and overcoming these challenges.
Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale
Berg Professor of English at New York University. In his book: "The
American Religion," he mainly discusses "the two most American of our
faiths, those of the Mormons and the Southern Baptist
Convention...The Mormons rightly stress their indubitable status as an American
original, with a precise genesis in the visions granted to their prophet, seer,
and revelator, Joseph Smith. The Baptists...trace their origin in a great
American myth, the primitive Christian Church of ancient Israel." 2
||"A nation as religiously fragmented as the United States will not
yield very readily to any predictions...as to its denominational future."
||"The Southern Baptists and the Mormons will be at the center of
what is to come..."
||There are a "large number of Mormon Fundamentalists, many of them
polygamy-practicing Brighamites, who fully believe that A.D. 2000 will
mark the beginning of the end time, but they hardly represent the Mormon
||Bloom notes that the Mormons have steadily expanded in numbers at
about 6% per year. By the "year 2020 or so" it may be the
dominant religion of the American West.
||"Not too far on in the 21st century, the Mormons will have enough
political and financial power to sanction polygamy again."
Bloom feels that this is necessary to fulfill "the complete
vision of Joseph Smith..."
||Concerning Ellen White and the Seventh Day
Adventist denomination that she founded, Bloom states that: "Either
Adventism will return to her version of shamanism as a branch of the
American Religion, or it will vanish from among us except as a vast
||He predicts that the Southern Baptist Convention will
continue in its present form with a large percentage of its members
being moderates and devoid of power. Then, perhaps by 2020 there will be
a major exodus of moderates from the denomination.
Mr. Croucher is a director of John Mark Ministries, an Australian
ministry for pastors, ex-pastors, church leaders and their spouses. He predicts:
||Greater variety in church structures: more house churches,
meta-churches, and churches without walls. Corner-store churches will
continue to decline in numbers.
||Church health, rather than growth rate, will be the main goal.
||There will be less commitment by the laity to a particular
congregation or denomination.
||There will be a great need for prophets to "remind us of our
commitments to faith, hope and love."
||"The future is shaped more (in human terms) by the visionary
gifts of leaders than by any other single factor."
||The four biblical modes of worship will be present in healthy
churches: liturgy, reading and exposition of the Bible, small group
worship, and charismatic praise.
||As governments abandon minorities such as the homeless, mentally
ill, unemployed, etc., churches will have marvelous opportunities to
care for people outside of their congregations.
||Increasing numbers of churches will create their own Internet web
Dr Dobson is a child psychologist and the founder and head of Focus of the
Family, a Fundamentalist Christian non-profit agency which promotes
conservative Christian values. His agency's prime concern is the health of families led by opposite-sex spouses. In his newsletter for 2000-JAN, he
predicts some major future changes in the definition of "family." All
conflict with, or are extensions of, traditional Christian beliefs and
||He predicted that the Supreme Court in
Vermont may sanction same-sex marriage. This prediction has partly
came true since Dr. Dobson wrote his newsletter. On 1999-DEC-20, the
Vermont Supreme Court released its ruling in the case of "Baker
v. State, 98-032." They instructed the state legislature to
introduce legislation that either:
||allows same-sex marriage, or
||creates a new type of government-registered partnership for gays
and lesbians that is equivalent in all ways (except for the name) to
This subsequently led to the creation of civil unions in the state.
||He does not predict the outcome of the vote in California on
2000-MAR-7 which will decide whether "only marriage between a man and
a woman is valid or recognized in California." He felt that the vote
was too close to call when he wrote the letter in late 1999. The measure
||He lists many of predictions of futurists around the world:
||Alvin Toffler's prediction in his 1970 book Future Shock
that homosexuals would be allowed to marry, perhaps with the
blessings of their church. He also predicted that young people will
enter into "trial marriages" or "recognized pre-marriage." By
the 1990s, most married couples in the U.S. lived together before marriage.
||Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvaniaís
Center for Bioethics concluded that: "...somewhere in
the next millennium, making babies sexually will be rare."
Presumably most pregnancies will involve in-vitro fertilization.
||Sandy Burchsted from Huston TX predicted that by the year 2100,
the average American will marry at least four times and routinely
engage in extramarital affairs.
Dr. Dobson comments: "Societies can be no more stable than the
social foundation on which they sit. That foundation is the
traditional family, defined as one man and one woman living together
in a committed, loving marriage. If that institution crumbles, the
entire superstructure of ordered society is destined to collapse."
He concludes his newsletter with the assertion that Jesus Christ
will return to earth, perhaps in the very near future. 4
Pope John Paul II, text of a speech delivered to the World Conference
on Religion and Peace at the opening of their Sixth World Assembly
in Rome on 1994-NOV-3. See Address #2, L'Osservatore Romano English
edition, 1994-NOV-16, Page 2.
Harold Bloom, "The American religion: The emergence of the
post-Christian nation," Simon &Schuster, (1992). Review/order
John Mark Ministries has a home page at:
"Dr. Dobson's Study, January 2000," at:
Copyright © 2000 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2000-JAN-15
Latest update: 2004-OCT-23
Author: B.A. Robinson