Pre-Christian Europe

If you’ve heard us present in the last year, you’ve probably heard us talking about Europe’s shift from a post-Christian to a pre-Christian society. As I come across articles about Europe’s growing desire to believe in something, I always try to post them here. Just last week, I received an article from the mission that I thought you would enjoy — the recent Breakpoint article “Christian Comeback in Europe.” As he examines the surprising changes in the European climate, Colson draws the same conclusion I have about their source. Secular Humanism doesn’t work. From the article:

Secularism’s failure was not for lack of trying. As historian Tony Judt has written, leaders in post-war Europe worked hard to forget the past, including Europe’s Christian roots. They thought societies that “provided everything” and “forbade nothing” would make western Europeans happy and secure.

It did neither. Instead, the results included suicide rates between four and sixteen times higher than that of “less developed” European countries and the United States. Combine this with the notoriously low European birthrates and what you get is despair, a society imploding.

Beyond the reasoning, the news is exciting:

More than 120,000 Dutch have taken these introduction-to-Christianity [Alpha] courses. Even the head of the program is surprised at its success … “there’s a growing group, most of them young people, who are genuinely interested, for whom this is all completely new.”

In my experience, the statement most people find the most jarring is “for whom this is all completely new.” How can people in Europe have never heard the gospel? Isn’t there a church in every village, a cathedral in every city? The truth is that most Europeans see the church as a dry, dead monument to pre-enlightenment superstition. They have never heard the life giving message of Jesus Christ. These people have a longing to know what life means beyond themselves. The evidence is mounting. We need to get out there and answer their questions! The above linked article is very short, but I commend to you the further reading links at the bottom. They are a great picture both of the despair and the hope of Europe.

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