I have just started to read Ravi Zacharias’ book called Beyond Opinion. In the introduction, he makes an observation about why the church in the West has been so intellectually weak. This is what he writes (page xiv):
To those in the West, the bigger the number of respondents, the more replicated the technique. The bigger the statistics, the greater the success. Westerners are enamored by size, largesse, number of hands raised, and so on. When the sun sets on these reports, we seem rather dismayed when statistics show the quality of life of the believer is no different from that of the unbeliever.
What do you think about that? Do you agree or disagree?
I think part of the answer has to do with how we define “success” in terms of spiritual growth. Is it “success” when someone believes in Jesus for the first time and crosses the line to become a follower of God? Yes, that is success. But is that it, or is there more? What about maturity, increased understanding and devotion, subsequent discipling of others, etc? In some ways, is it a quality verses quantity argument? Willow Creek’s attempt at answering this question is documented here.
What has your experience been? Is the Western church intellectually weak? If so, what is the impact upon spiritual growth, maturity, and mission?