Replacing marriage

Isabel Sawhill is a liberal scholar who has spent much of her career defending marriage from cultural developments and government policies that have weakened the institution.  She has been pro-marriage not for moral, spiritual , or cultural reasons but because the data is overwhelming that children do better with two parents and that married couples do better economically.

But now she is giving up.  She says that marriage is in such a weakened state that we need to come up with alternatives that will have the same economic and child-care benefits.  See what she is proposing after the jump.  How do you think these would work? [Read more...]

Who are the churchless?

The Barna Group has finished a major study of people who do not go to church.  (They used to be called the “unchurched”; this study calls them “churchless.”)  And it has some surprises.  For example, the churchless tend to be less educated than those who go to church, are mostly white, men, unmarried, and young.  Also, nearly two-thirds of the unchurched consider themselves to be Christians.  See Barna’s “Ten Facts” about the churchless after the jump. [Read more...]

Why non-conformists look the same

A mathematician took up the topic of hipsters.  Specifically, why different individuals who try not to conform to what is seen as normal end up looking and acting very much like each other.

After the jump, read the details, link to the math, and consider my thoughts on the matter, which offers a different account of non-conformists and sort of a defense of hipsters. [Read more...]

Church design that appeal to Millennials

The Christian pollsters and research company the Barna Group has researched what kind of church architecture and design elements appeal most to the Millennial generation, the 18-29 year-olds that churches are trying hard to reach.

Briefly, the Millennisals much prefer traditional church design, as well as quiet, contemplative spaces, to the auditorium-style sanctuaries with screens and speaker systems that have become popular in the Church Growth Movement.

After the jump, read about the study and see some samples of the findings. [Read more...]

The first New Class president

Sociologist Peter Berger discusses the Houston mayor subpoening sermons (which have been cancelled, by the way), the progression of punishment for those who do not agree with gay sex, and President Obama as the first president from the “new class”  (the elite social class that trades in information rather than tangible goods). [Read more...]

Discovery of how to keep young people in the church

A new study has discovered what is being called the “holy grail” for keeping teenagers in the church when they become adults:  Parents.   If their parents talked about their faith at home, showed that their faith is important to them, and were active in church, 82% of their children became similarly religious as adults.  The connection is “nearly deterministic,” according to one researcher. [Read more...]


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