For those of you who have ears to hear, listen and understand.
Many different explanations have been proposed for the problems that beset us. While there are undoubtedly multiple causes at work here, what I want to focus on is what I believe to be a fundamental yet neglected factor: the sea change that has taken place in American religious life. As Ross Douthat has observed, a map of America’s religious past, “would look like a vast delta, with tributaries, streams and channels winding in and out… but all of them fed, ultimately, by a central stream, an original current, a place where all the waters start.” That place is “not the orthodoxy of any specific Christian church,” but “the shared theological commitments that have defined the parameters of Christianity since the early church.” For the past half-century, however, that spring “has gradually been drying up,” so much so that we are witnessing “the slow-motion collapse of traditional Christianity” in America.
The transformation of our religious landscape includes: the rapid demographic decline of American Christianity (according to Pew, the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as Christians has declined by 12 percent between 1998 and 2018, and current projections are that within a few decades, less than half of Americans will identify as Christians); the increasing marginalisation of Christians and accelerating de-Christianisation of American culture; the declining importance of religion in the lives of Americans; the rise of the so-called “nones”; the emergence (especially among the young) of a deep-seated scepticism of — and even hostility toward — organised religion; the undisguised contempt of cultural elites towards Christianity; the emergence of religious traditions native to Asia and the Middle East as presences on the American scene; and the rise of what are sometimes called “remixed” religions or do-it-yourself religions. As late as 1931, the Supreme Court could describe Americans as “a Christian people.” Would anyone make that same claim today?www.mercatornet.com