Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In a book subtitled, How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church, John Allen presents a well-researched and insightful exercise in futuristic thinking for Catholics and those interested in the prevalent trends within world Catholicism. Allen presents his material in the format of a researcher. He has designated a group over-arching trends and explains his criteria for selecting them as well as naming some that he considered, but discarded. Each of these topics is investigated in depth with a discussion of both their positive and negative impacts. The book is thorough in scope and depth.

Although I would not have chosen some of the trends he did, and at times disagreed with his conclusions, the book is fair and balanced. It makes fascinating reading and forces the American reader, in particular, to think beyond immediate ecclesiastical concerns of our own backyard.

If the book has a flaw, it is the same one that affects any projection of the future…a reliance on a set of events unfolding in a specific way. Life has many inter-dependencies and changing one or two of the underlying assumptions can sometimes derail the whole train. All in all, The Future Church is an interesting book that exposes the reader to happenings, events and trends within the Church that, I for one, was unaware of. I recommend it to anyone wants their vision of the Church broadened while at the same time enjoys speculating about where the Church may be heading.
- E. G. Lewis

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