The death of Christian Britain has been a long time in coming, but few can deny that at some point over the last fifty years or so, Britain lost any right to be described as a Christian country. But although Christian Britain is dead, Christianity in Britain is alive and kicking – and it’s evangelicalism, with its firm belief that Jesus transforms lives for the better, that’s bucking the trend of decline. Just as importantly, if we lift our heads beyond our shores, we discover that Christianity is thriving in many parts of the world.
Nonetheless, our children and grandchildren are growing up in a very different environment to the one that many of us did. Both they and we now need to navigate a secular country, not a Christianised one. They’ll need to wrestle with issues such as identity politics, transgenderism, and the deification of personal choice.
And both they and we also need to reach a secular country, not a Christianised one. If Britain is to be re-evangelised and re-won for the gospel, it will probably need to be done very differently from the Great Awakening, the Welsh Revivals or the Harringay Billy Graham crusades.
Learning to navigate our culture will take a lifetime, but we hope this edition of the magazine helps you a little way along that journey. We’ve got insight from some of Britain’s foremost evangelical thinkers and practitioners in Sharon James and John Stevens. And there’s fresh thinking from those who between them have spent decades in the front line of evangelism, such as Peter Dray at UCCF, Jim Sayers formerly at Grace Baptist Mission, Laura Sanlon at UFM, and our own John Funnell.
And of course, as we approach Easter, we reflect on the cross, and especially to the forgiveness that is to be found only in Jesus. It’s his finished work that gives us a certain hope that God is building his church and the gates of hell are not prevailing against it.
Let’s pray that God would use this issue of the magazine to speak into our lives – but even more, let’s pray that in this nation and around the world the gospel would come not only in word, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.