This is an intriguing report from the Netherlands, published in the Weekly Standard, about the resurgence of Christianity. Take it as it is, I suppose. I am cheered by it but am concerned that the population projections are wildly at variance with what I heard a couple of months ago, that Holland would be majority Muslim in eleven years.
The Netherlands has made news recently by proposing legislation to ban the full face veil. It's a small but significant step to asserting Western cultural norms against the onslaught of radical Islam [aside: half-step forward, six steps back. The minister who will introduce legislation for the burqa ban has been stripped of her immigration brief for refusing to halt deportation of "asylum seekers" who have overstayed or failed to prove legitimate status]. As I listen to people who are much better acquainted with the situation there than I, two schools of thought have clearly developed. That the tide is turning, look at the demographics (this article) and it's too late, look at the demographics (Mark Steyn). The central theme of this article is that secularism has reached its highwater mark in Holland, that Christianity is on the rise, especially among young people. Secondarily, there is the claim that Muslim immigration has been virtually halted and the Muslim birthrate is fast approaching the native birthrate. Would that it were true: I am skeptical.
The other thing I'm skeptical about is the gathering of many young people under the banner of "non-traditional churches." No bricks, no mortar, we meet in houses or arenas, pray and praise and voilá, we're one with the Trinity. Or maybe not, as the Trinity is one of those tedious, antiquated artifacts of theology that young people just don't need. Part of me says, well, we have to start somewhere and these young Europeans are pretty much starting from scratch. One of the things that emergent churches emphasize is community and service, which is a very good thing. I will be interested to see, however, if this gets translated back into communal self-reliance and defence of values (against the predations of secularism and Islam) or if it's all just another twist on I'm-OK-You're-OK. Nothing in this article suggests, for instance, that there is any particular call on adhererents to operate on a different moral level than the surrounding culture. I'd be very interested to know, for instance, if any new Christians are taking the Biblical injuctions to refrain from sex outside of marriage seriously, much less to repeal any of Holland's rather famously "liberal" definitions of consensual sex (twelve year-olds are statutory adults for that pupose.) Well, we shall see. Rome wasn't built in a day and a beginning that acknowledges the existence of God is a start.