This essay has been slightly edited and was originally published in the C.S. Lewis Institute’s online quarterly, “Knowing and Doing.” You may find the original article at this link.
If you were asked to articulate the greatest weakness of the church in the United States, what would you say? Would you argue that Christians have become too captive to political platforms and secular ideologies? Perhaps you would mention the prosperity gospel or the multi-billion-dollar Christian entertainment industry rendering so many churches chronically shallow. Perhaps you would mention the widespread confusion, even within the church, about human identity and sexuality? Others have made these arguments, and I am in many ways sympathetic. However, I believe there is a deeper, more foundational problem that is too often overlooked. I suggest that the decline and neglect of catechetical ministry has weakened the church’s witness in profound ways.