I think I first heard Kevin DeYoung and John Piper ask and answer that question. They both concluded “no.” I think I agree with them. There is no direct relationship between the effectiveness of the church and the broader unbelieving culture.
Yet, it seems most Christians tend to assume a relationship. If the church was doing _____ then the culture wouldn’t ______. Because the church is weak in _____ the society is experiencing ______.
Many Christians too readily draw these kinds of conclusions. I think it’s well-intended. What Christian doesn’t want to see the church have a lasting positive impact on their society?
But I’m concerned that this thinking, especially among preachers and pastors, might be contributing to some unhealthiness in the church. I don’t know if I’m right about this, so you all chime in with your perspective…