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A decades-long search for who we are

Church history professor responds to the question, 'Is there an identity crisis in Churches of Christ?'

Doug Foster

‘While not all Christian bodies in the United States are declining, we are one of many that are,” said Doug Foster, professor of church history and director of the Center for Restoration Studies at Abilene Christian University in Texas. “The ones that are growing significantly tend to be non-denominational charismatic groups.

“In my opinion, we may be experiencing an identity crisis in Churches of Christ, but it has been going on for as long as 50 years and is part of an identity crisis that much of western Christianity is undergoing.

“Churches of Christ have been self-assured, mostly white and often exclusive. When certainty has been replaced by humility, when irreversible racial diversity has pressured our majority white constituency to become less culturally white, and when exclusive attitudes have begun to dissipate, many members of Churches of Christ find themselves uncertain of who they are or should be. I think our task is to be Jesus to the world, to speak and act out the good news of Jesus to those in need.”

Filed under: Abilene Christian University Big Questions Big Questions People Restoration movement What is a Church of Christ

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