Recently I have been reading Alan Jamieson’s thesis from which he wrote ‘A Churchless Faith’, a book in which he explores why normal, clear thinking, unembittered people have given up on church but not on God.
I am only half way thru but here’s where I sense he is heading”
He has unpacked Fowler’s six stages of faith alongside Keniston’s modal development levels and seems to be suggesting that most evangelical Pentecostal churches rarely move people beyond a stage 3 level faith – that they draw strong black and white lines, have fairly clear behaviour codes and rarely challenge people to really grapple with faith.
They are predictable self perpetuating environments.
As such when people move to the higher stages of faith development, church as they know it can be an inhibiting factor. It can seem to be a ‘been there done that’ kind of experience.
While it is a significant generalisation I think there is some merit in his thesis. Maybe those with a churchless faith would belong to a church if ‘church’ engaged with them in meaningful ways.