CNN’s Belief blog invited pundits and scholars to contribute to a list of 15 faith-based predictions for 2012. As a collection, they are pretty self-serving, but here are three that caught our eye:
There’s no question the worldview of most younger Christians already differs from previous generations regarding social justice, cultural engagement and politics. The next issue of probable divergence? The conflict in Israel and Palestine. The American church has largely purported just one theology about the modern state of Israel, but now questions are being asked – especially by younger Christians learning of persecution and human rights issues happening in the region – if the church should have a more active role in peacemaking. Is there a way for the Church to be pro-Israel, pro-Palestine and pro-peace?
–Cameron Strang, publisher of RELEVANT magazine
7. Significant numbers of millennials (young people born in the 1980s and 1990s) will continue to walk away from socially conservative religious traditions. Bringing them back will be tough, especially for religious organizations deeply invested in brick-and-mortar and bureaucracy. Millennials who are facing the erosion of access to affordable, quality education and meaningful employment and who stand to inherit from their elders a great deal of debt and environmental destruction want to know why and how faith matters.
–Joanna Brooks, Mormon author and columnist for Religion Dispatches
11. More churches will lose the moat dragon mentality, lower the drawbridge and dispatch members beyond the church service to church SERVICE, applying their faith in the community through volunteerism and outreach.
–A. Larry Ross, Christian communications executive representing clients like Billy Graham and Rick Warren
How about you, do you have any predictions about what will happen in the world of religion this year? We will be featuring a specifically Episcopal variation on this story in a few hours.