Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rising to the Challenge of a Changing Religious Landscape in the UK and the USA: Three Articles

How should Christians relate to 'outsiders'?

In a post-Christendom culture, should Christians look different from those around them and keep their distance, or engage with culture and not look too distinctive? This has been a challenge for the Church down the ages, but it has a particular edge to it in times of cultural change, particularly when it feels as though culture is moving away from 'Christian values'. And there are compelling arguments on both sides of the debate, for both practical and theological reasons. Keep reading

The end of casual Christianity

The Roman historian Tacitus described Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians: “In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and torn to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights.”

In spite of what you may have read or heard, the recent Pew Research Center report “America’s Changing Religious Landscape” was better news for Christians than this. “Is Christianity in America Doomed?” asked one headline, about a faith with which 71 percent of Americans still identify.

Most of the actual decline in believers from 2007 to 2014 was concentrated among Roman Catholics and the Protestant mainline, and among those most loosely tethered to religious faith. Evangelical Christians held pretty steady, which set up an odd chain of reactions. Secularists were pleased about the decline of Christianity. Some conservative Christians were pleased about the decline of theological liberalism. The latter is evidence of an old grudge. Keep reading

Is the UK still a Christian country?

Are we losing our religion? The answer for the UK seems to be "Yes", while the answer for the developing world is a resounding "No".

That was the conclusion of a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center in the US. Keep reading

Photo credit: Pixabay, public domain

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