According to several studies, American evangelicals generally do not know what they believe and why they believe it. Consequently, most share with the wider culture a confidence in human goodness and a weak view of the need for God's saving grace in Jesus Christ. According to these reports, most evangelicals believe that we are saved by being good and that there are many ways of salvation apart from explicit faith in Jesus Christ.
Here are a few of the disturbing trends that need to be checked and reformed in contemporary church life:
1. We are all too confident in our own words
We are all too confident in our own words, so that churches become echo chambers for the latest trends in pop psychology, marketing, politics, entertainment, and entrepreneurial leadership. We need to recover our confidence in the triune God and His speech, as He addresses us authoritatively in His Word.
2. We are all too confident in our own methods
We are all too confident in our own methods for success in personal, ecclesial, and social transformation. We need to be turned again to God's judgment and grace, His action through His ordained means of grace.
3. We are all too confident in our own good works
We are all too confident in our own good works. We need to repent and be brought again to despair not only of our sins but of our pretended righteousness.
4. We are all too enamored of our own glory
We are all too enamored of our own glory, the kingdoms that we are building. We need to be brought back to that place of trust in Christ where we are deeply aware of "receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken" (Heb. 12:28), because God is building it for His own glory, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
Only as we turn our ears away from the false promises of this passing age to God's Word, to His saving revelation in Christ as the only gospel, and to the glory of the triune God as our only goal, can we expect to see a genuine revival of Christian discipleship, worship, and mission in the world today.