Thursday, November 28, 2019

Intelligent Design Theory

In the combox of the previous thread here at AF, the issue of ID (Intelligent Design) was raised. This has inspired me to provide for interested folk a few of my favorite websites that support the ID theory:

Hope that others with interest in Intelligent Design will supplement the above list…

Grace and peace,


Saturday, November 9, 2019

David Cloud’s disturbing heads-up concerning the decline of Christianity in the United States

In yesterdays, “Friday Church News Notes” (link), David Cloud brought to the attention of his readers some alarming news:

The following research is confirmed by the many Southern Baptist and fundamental Baptist churches that are populated predominately by elderly people. The young people are gone. This is excerpted from ‘Young People Who Leave Church,’ Christian Post, Oct. 23, 2019: “While pastors have long banked on social science showing that young people who leave church generally return when they're older, a recent analysis of that trend suggests it might be over. In his analysis of data from the General Social Survey of five-year windows in which individuals were born spanning from 1965 to 1984 and published by the Barna Group, Ryan Burge, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and pastor of First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, shows that younger generations raised in the church aren’t typically returning to church when compared with members of the ‘Baby boomer’ generation born between 1945 and 1964. In Burge’s analysis of the boomer generation, four different five-year cohorts reflected the ‘trademark hump’ supported by traditional social science ‘when each birth cohort moves into the 36–45 age range. That’s exactly what the life cycle effect would predict: People settle down, they have kids, and they return to church.’ When he examined data for the younger cohorts 1965-1969, 1975-1979 and 1980-1984, the data show a fading of the life cycle effect. While the hump is still there in the cohort measured from 1965-1969, a shift in the life cycle effect begins to emerge by around 1970. ‘That trend line is completely flat—those people didn’t return to church when they moved into their 30s. You can see the beginnings of a hump among those born between 1975 and 1979, but in the next birth cohort the hump is actually inverted. That trademark return to church—which pastors and church leaders have relied on for decades—might be fading,’ Burge said. For anyone concerned with church growth, Burge says ‘this should sound an alarm.’”

Some subsequent online research lead me to the Pew Research Center website, and their article “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace” (link), wherein the following is revealed:

In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009.

Disturbing statistics for sure, statistics which brought back to mind a quote from the Puritan theologian Thomas Manton that I published a little over a year ago:

Divisions in the church breed atheism in the world. [LINK]

I cannot help but wonder if the continuing multiplication of divisions—and lack of tangible unity—amongst those professing to be Christian is a major factor in the decline of Christianity in America…

Grace and peace,