We believe PROCLAIM HOPE! has been raised up to help confront and cure what is possibly the greatest crisis facing the Church today. Some call it a “crisis of Christology”. David Bryant calls it a “crisis of supremacy”. It is the dramatic shortfall in how the evangelical movement sees, seeks, shows, serves and speaks about the glorious greatness of God’s Son.
Dr. J. I. Packer suggests, for example, that the Church’s current vision of Christ is much like Humpty-Dumpty! It has broken into a hundred pieces. Everyone has a piece of the picture. But no one is putting all the pieces back together in a way that gives God’s people a comprehensive message about His Son, a message that can transform congregations and their mission to the world.
The dean of Beeson School of Theology, Dr. Timothy George, warns:
The erosion of Christ-centered faith threatens to undermine the identity of evangelical Christianity. Real revival and genuine reformation will not be built on flimsy foundations.
To which Dr. Dallas Willard, University of Southern California professor, adds:
Why is today’s church so weak? Why are we able to claim many conversions and enroll many church members but have less and less impact on our culture? Why are Christians indistinguishable from the world? This poor result is not in spite of what we teach and how we teach, but precisely because of it. The power of Jesus and his gospel has been cut off from ordinary human existence.
Dr. Chuck Swindoll in his book, The Grace Awakening, suggests that the greatest heresy in the evangelical church is our emphasis on what we should be doing for God, rather than on what God has done and is getting ready to do for us in Jesus Christ.
No wonder Dr. George Barna, respected demographer of the American evangelical church, concluded his research with this troubling observation:
Overall, Christian ministry is stuck in a deep rut. Too many Christians and churches in America have traded in spiritual passion for empty rituals, clever methods and mindless practices. The challenge to today’s Church is not methodological. It is a challenge to resuscitate the spiritual passion and fervor of the nation’s Christians.
In most evangelical churches, many would claim that “Christ is preached.” Yet a closer look reveals that the message is more often about how Christ fits into who we are, where we’re headed, what we’re doing and how we’re blessed. To “preach the supremacy of Christ” means to help Christians discover how they fit into who Christ is, where Christ is headed, what Christ is doing and how Christ is blessed. This is a huge paradigm shift for many evangelicals and holds the potential for deep repercussions for all we become for Christ.