From: Dr. Blake Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Jan 05 2003 - 10:40:20 EST
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 <email@example.com> wrote:
> This was related to "Christianity in decline."
> the subsequent related posts touched on the relevant
> nicely. (Christianity doing well in poorer, less
> countries but faltering or even dying in Europe and
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