Sociologist Bradley Wright in an interview from Patton Dodd at Patheos:
There is this funny paradox: people tend to think that their own lives are getting better over time, but they think [society] is getting worse. Are your finances getting better over time? Yes. Is the economy getting better over time? No. Isyour family getting better over time? Yes. Are American family relationships getting better? No. One psychologist referred to it as, “The grass is browner on the other side.”
Bradley Wright again, in Christianity Today:
Social scientists have repeatedly surveyed views of various religions and movements, and Americans consistently hold evangelical Christians in reasonably high regard. Furthermore, social science research indicates that it’s almost certain that our erroneous belief that others dislike us is actually harming our faith.
Joanna Brooks on “myths” about Mormonism:
Growing up in California, I frequently heard that I belonged to a cult; local churches screened anti-Mormon films; and classmates taped anti-Mormon notes in my locker. Some people will never see Mormons as Christians. But ask my Jewish husband if he thinks his Christmas-celebrating, New Testament-reading Mormon wife is Christian, and his answer will be absolutely yes.
We’re reaping the results of ministry decisions made decades ago which turned (and continue to turn) the church’s attention to the experience of the churchgoer. We’re now less worshipers or even participants in ministry. We’re more, as Rachel Daniels put it, “consumers of Christianity.” Should we be surprised then that people act like consumers, that they feel entitled to judge, to rate, to rank, to approve, to critique, to tweet as the pastor finishes his homily, “Sermon today? #Fail,” even if only in our heads?