The problem laid out here is known by most any church goer under the age of 40. Many young men are leaving churches and denominations because they refuse to address the issues of today. So many churches are caught trying to fight battles that lost significance decades ago, that they don't see the issues that are most affecting their young congregants. I don't need a church that is trying to get prayer back in school and evolution out. I need a church that will help me learn how to be a man, give me a place to serve, and will answer questions about the Christian's role in the environment, and how I should be helping the poor. I want to be in a church where I can be a part of making a difference in the issues that affect me and my neighbors. Those churches that refuse to see the trends right under their nose because they are focused on issues of the past will become churches of the past.
3. The most dangerous trends in any age are the trends that most people do not see.
"Orthodoxy is always focused on the past but the new expressions of evangelicalism are the most dangerous. Carson recalled the once Christian colleges like Princeton and Yale that were led by pastor/theologians but became so big that they hired administrators who were not as discerning of current trends; only of past. A formally orthodox leader will head into trouble if he is not astute toward current trends in evangelicalism.
Carson made the case that 1920's liberalism is no longer the issue-even though some churches are still fighting that shadow. Today's issues like justification, inerrancy, primacy of family, gender roles, sexuality, pornography, modesty, race relations (very few race-integrated churches), tolerance, consumerism and human flourishing are the current issues at hand.
I think most church planters are men who grew tired of fighting for bygone issues in their churches while people are losing the wars against the current issues of today. In my opinion, mainline churches will continue to lose their best men who want to be warriors in a real war, not in the reenactments of the religious wars of the last forty years. As long as we continue to address these modernist battles, Satan and his demonic force will rule the ground in our churches with diversion tactics that consume our energy."