Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Russell Moore: Is Christianity Dying? - UPDATED

Christianity is dying. At least, that’s what major newspapers are telling us today, culling research from a new Pew Center study on what almost all sociologists are observing these days—the number of Americans who identify as Christians has reached an all-time low, and is falling. I think this is perhaps bad news for America, but it is good news for the church.

The lead editor of the report tells The New York Times that secularization—mainly in terms of those who identify as “nones” or with no specific religious affiliation—isn’t isolated to the progressive Northeast and Pacific Northwest. He notes, “The change is taking place all over, including the Bible Belt.”

This is precisely what several of us have been saying for years. Bible Belt near-Christianity is teetering. I say let it fall. For much of the twentieth century, especially in the South and parts of the Midwest, one had to at least claim to be a Christian to be “normal.” During the Cold War, that meant distinguishing oneself from atheistic Communism. At other times, it has meant seeing churchgoing as a way to be seen as a good parent, a good neighbor, and a regular person. It took courage to be an atheist, because explicit unbelief meant social marginalization. Rising rates of secularization, along with individualism, means that those days are over—and good riddance to them. Keep reading

Also see
Ed Stetzer: The "Christian Sky is (NOT) Falling"— My Piece for USAToday
New: The Real But Overstated Decline of American Christianity
New: The New Pew Survey on Religion & Lament for Nominal Christianity
New: Christianity Is Not Dying; Reports Pointing to Decline of Church Are Skewing Data, Says Baylor University Scholars Peter Jensen: Build on the past, seize this moment, create the future

Photo credit: © Copyright Julian P Guffogg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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