I am former evangelical Protestant and I try to keep up on my reading of Protestant periodicals.
I think that Protestants, at least evangelical Protestants, have just gone through a long period (several decades?) of de-emphasizing sin.
I was taught growing up that to think about our own sins demonstrated a lack of faith in God, who forgives all of our sins, past, present, and furutre.
However, the inevitable result of such thinking has occurred and is occuring in evangelical circles. Sin is becoming rampant . There are lots of studies and articles concluding that there is no noticeable difference between evangelical Christians and non-believers.
Divorce rates are virtual equal, and percentage of young people who lose their virginity outside of marriage is extremely high. Abortion rates among evangelical Christians were one of six years ago; who know what they are now. Churches are seeing sexual abuse and homosexuality among their clergy. Various prominent Protestants have been caught in financial schemes (stealing, lying, etc.). Selfishness and materialism are common and the rate of charitable giving is low. There is disobedience of parents and failure to honor parents. Hatred and racism are evident in some evangelical groups.
I could go on. It’s a sad litany of sin.
So I believe that we are now seeing a return to the doctrines of sin and confession of sin. I’ve read in Protestant magazines that some Protestant churches are trying to restore public confession and even private confession. Accountability groups are springing up (e.g., Promisekeepers was an accountability group). Sin, hell, and death are again being preached from the Protestant pulpit.
It’s not a total return yet. The megachurches aren’t really into “negativity” because they use positive messages and seeker-friendly teachings to draw in the non-believers.
But I believe that many of the local evangelical Protestant churches are returning to the idea of accountability for sin and the need to pursue personal holiness.
One more thing: I think that the conversion of many evangelical pastors and lay evangelicals to Catholicism is scaring evangelicals. My husband listens to an anti-Catholic (anti-everything, actually!) radio program, and they asked their guest last week what can be done about this problem. It is a problem for them, and the answer that many of the evangelicals come up with is a return to basic Christianity and a departure from “entertainment” Christianity.