Is American Christianity on Its Last Legs? The Data Say Otherwise.

"Two recent books have taken up these questions in a markedly optimistic spirit: Glenn Stanton’s The Myth of the Dying Church: How Christianity is Actually Thriving in America and the World and Rick Richardson’s You Found Me: New Research on How Unchurched Nones, Millennials, and Irreligious are Surprisingly Open to Christian Faith." - Christianity Today

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Ed Vasicek's picture

Do we believe this or The Great American Recession.  They cannot both be true.

"The Midrash Detective"

Mark_Smith's picture

Look at the Richardson book, You Found Me, that the article talks about. According to their survey of 2000 unchurched Americans, 42% think Christianity is good for society. You might be encouraged by that number. First, that means 58% think Christianity is NOT GOOD for society! Second, of that 42%, what many are thinking of is not salvation, heaven/hell, righteousness,  and holiness, they are thinking of adoption, foster care, food pantries, and homeless shelters. Is it good that Christians care for the poor? Yes. Is it what Jesus died for? Not really.

Furthermore, 33% admire a Christian friends faith. Once again, that means 2/3 do not. Second, they might admire, but do they desire it?

Finally, the thing Thom Rainer always harps on. 67% are willing to go to church if invited. I have been witnessing for a long time, well more than some at least, less than some of you elderly warriors Smile I can say there is nowhere near 67% of the people that are willing to come to a church event. ANY EVENT at church, even ones with free BBQ and candy for the kids. I suspect this positive answer is question bias where the respondent doesn't want to appear inflexible and unreasonable. In any case, getting a person to say yes to coming is different from getting them to actually come. That is also difficult.

So, I am generally skeptical of these kinds of surveys. We are told to preach the gospel and to tell others. That is enough motivation to do it. We don't need surveys.