New Testament Professor Steven M. Bryan was recently a panelist on the Lausanne Theology Working Group's first of two webinars on "The Church in a Post-COVID World."
Bryan noted that a few speakers reflected on the divisions that COVID has produced among evangelicals in many parts of the world. In some cases, the divisions have been political, and in other cases the divisions have been between young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural. One scholar from India, for example, said that she knows hundreds of older believers in rural parts of India who haven't attended a church in any form for months, because they don't have access to the technology they need to stay connected to their churches.
"Here in the U.S., COVID has allowed us to see how the church is seen by many in the media and government," Bryan said. "In many cases, they have assumed that religion is essentially a private matter. As a result, they have not included churches on lists of 'essential services' or regarded the closure of churches as anything more than a minor inconvenience. With the necessity of moving church services to online formats, Christians can easily begin to see church in the same way—as a form of media to be consumed by individuals, conveniently available in the privacy of our own homes."
Dr. Michael Young-Suk Oh (MDiv '97), executive director for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, moderated the discussion. Check out the full webinar below!