We all think we’re losing

Among the more interesting findings in the recent Pew study of attitudes towards government is this:  Most people think their side is losing.

This is true across demographic, racial, and ethnic lines.  Liberals think they are losing to the Conservatives, and Conservatives think they are losing to the Liberals.  (Democrats are more confident than Republicans, but still, a majority of both parties feel this way.)

I wonder if this applies to other factions, such as those in churches.  I also wonder what this means. [Read more…]

Democrats don’t trust the government either

A Pew Research study of people’s attitude towards the government has found that 89% of Republicans seldom trust the government.  But neither do 72% of Democrats.

Back in 1958, a similar study found that three-quarters of Americans did trust their government.  What happened since then, that both liberals and conservatives have become disenchanted with their government?  Has the government changed that much, or have Americans become more savvy about their leaders?  [Read more…]

Half of atheists’ children fall away into belief

Christians often worry about their children falling away from the church.  Atheists have the same problem.  According to the Pew research, half of the children raised by atheists end up as believers.

A column on this phenomenon, excerpted and linked after the jump, includes another interesting observation:  “It’s mostly interpersonal relationships that sway beliefs.” [Read more…]

Christian “decline” is just Nominals becoming Nones

The headlines about the Pew Report, including at this blog, say that Christianity is declining in America.  But if you look closer, says Christianity Today’s Ed Stetzer, the data shows that the decline is in “nominal Christians”–those in name only–who are becoming open about their unbelief and calling themselves “Nones.”  The number of “convictional” Christians–those who really believe all that stuff–is holding steady.  See his analysis of the data after the jump.

There was a time when church membership was a cultural advantage.  Belonging to a church was good for business and a sign of fitting into the community.  So church membership rolls were filled with “pewsitters” or “Christmas/Easter” members.  Today, belonging to a church can be a cultural disadvantage.  So there is no reason for nominal Christians to bother with it.

This exit of the nominals can be a good thing, on one level, but I want to make two important caveats. [Read more…]

New study shows percentage of Christians declining

The Pew Research Center has released a new study of American religion.  In 2007, the date of its previous research, the percentage of Christians was 78%.  By 2014, the percentage dropped to 70%.   The percentage of those with no religious affiliation has shot up from 16% to 23%.  (Atheists have gone from 1.6% to 3.1%.)

Much of the decline in the number of Christians has come from dwindling mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics.  Evangelicals (and the study explicitly puts the LCMS in this category) are holding pretty steady.  Though declines are evident across regions, ages, and other demographics, the study says much of it can be accounted for by the Millennial Generation.  A link to the study, which has lots more fascinating details, after the jump. [Read more…]

Why the percentage of the non-religious is declining

We blogged about the Pew study of global religious affiliation, which included the rather surprising fact that the percentage of “nones,” or people with no religion, is declining world-wide.  An article at the Pew website explains why. [Read more…]


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