When John Paul II died a few months ago a number of Catholic and non-Catholic theologians and commentators wondered out loud if this was a "kairos" moment for the church. These writers understand a "kairos" moment to be a specific time that becomes decisive in church history. Anthony Figueiredo, former special assistant to the pontiff, believes Rome is in fact going through such a moment. I am personally not convinced but remain open and prayerful.
But what about Protestantism, especially the historic European and North American variety? "Mainline, historic Protestantism seems spiritually and morally almost finished," wrote religion observer Uwe Siemon-Netto in April. And, added the popular Catholic journal New Oxford Review, "Mainline . . . denominations are slowly dying. Let them die a natural death."
Siemon-Netto asks: "Is this true? Will only Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam survive the current crisis of faith, as a senior religious affairs adviser to the European Commission predicted some years ago?"
Protestant minister Albrecht Immanuel Herzog argues that the answer is a resolute "No." He believes "the Spirit who is Lord