If it didn’t exist, you couldn’t invent the New York Times.

Today’s paper has an interesting and fair-minded piece by Amy O’Leary about various emerging church ventures in big cities, and how they are trying new tactics to reach younger markets. All fair enough.

The title of the article, though, is a jaw dropping Building Congregations Around Art Galleries and Cafes as Spirituality Wanes. Excuse me?

The evidence for said waning appears to be the recent Pew report about the growing number of Americans declaring a lack of religious preference, and a small minority claiming no religion whatever. Ask any social scientist, and they will tell you emphatically that a lack of denominational preference does not correlate in the slightest to a decline in “spirituality.”

However, “waning” is what the Times wants to see, and that’s what they’re going to print. Remember the old phrase? We see things not as they are, but as we are.

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  • Add to this a lack of historical memory. Has there ever been a time when both pundits and pastors have NOT complained about the loss of religiosity in society? Anyone remember the Half-Way Covenant?