Decline of Christianity

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Sun Jan 05 2003 - 10:40:20 EST

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    Europe and the United States are clearly very
    different in the extent to which there has been any
    "decline" in Christianity. As a nominal matter (that
    is naming oneself as Christian in response to a
    survey), there has not been a significant decline in
    Christianity in the United States. There has been an
    upsurge in some very actively mission oriented
    denominations, including the Mormons -- whether one
    considers them Christian or not. This trend away from
    mainline churches has been going on for some time and
    represents not a failure of Christianity but a failure
    of particular denominations to provide meaningful
    christianity to parishoners. The reasons for this are
    complex, but include ideological disagreements with
    social agendas of church hierarchies, a "sell out" of
    some denominations or parishes to modern (in the
    philosophical sense) values (e.g., Spong as a
    particularly extreme example), etc.

    But, Jim, it's not science or education that has led
    to the decline or erosion of Christianity (in fact,
    those things support Christianity and were fostered
    and supported by Christianity in their development).
      IMHO, the biggest reason, perhaps, is that the creed
    of modern consumerism leads to a great falling away,
    since our desires, as C.S. Lewis put it, are often too
    weak, rather than too strong. So, when we can amuse
    and distract ourselves so easily, we don't have to
    think about social issues, the hungry, the poor, those
    in prison, or the meaning of existence, or the place
    of ourselves in it.

    --- Jim Eisele <> wrote:
    > This was related to "Christianity in decline."
    > Actually,
    > the subsequent related posts touched on the relevant
    > issues
    > nicely. (Christianity doing well in poorer, less
    > educated
    > countries but faltering or even dying in Europe and
    > North
    > America).

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