E. D. Kain at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen has also taken note of Michael’s Spencer’s prediction of the collapse of Evangelical Christianity and added some thoughs of his own from a Catholic point of view:
Now my personal take is that the disintegration of the highly political evangelical movement which Andrew [Sullivan] identifies as Christianist would be overall a very good thing. But if Evangelicals drift over into the Catholic Church I do think there is cause for concern. I think one thing the Church absolutely does not need is a large population of biblical literalists and fundamentalists swelling its ranks. The problem with protestantism in general, to my mind, is its lack of mooring in history and tradition, something that really forms the foundation of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
What the Catholic Church does need is a Vatican III. What could help save Catholicism, which I think in the long run stands a better chance of survival than evangelical or even mainline protestant churches, is a reform in its priesthood. It’s time to allow priests to marry. This prohibition on marriage in the priesthood is foolhardy, and one of the major stumbling blocks not only in recruiting new priests, but in winning back public trust of the Church itself. Beyond that, the Church needs more transparency. I think there is a case to be made against total transparency, but with all the scandals that have beset the Church in the past few decades, from child molestation to cover-ups, the only way to quell the slow uproar over these seemingly never-ending revelations of deceit is to open up. Let us see what’s going on behind the veil of obsfucation. The wrong thing to do would be to take the Church away from Vatican II reforms. The right thing to do would be to move toward a relevant Vatican III.
Of course, what neither Spencer nor Kain address is what happens if some significant percentage of those Evangelicals move into the LDS Church (as opposed to the Catholic or Orthodox Churches). ..bruce..
[UPDATE: Here’s a post to discuss possible futures of the LDS Church, particularly in America.]
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