Monday, April 25, 2005

Faith in our future?

From Michael Barone's latest column:
Fifty years ago, secular liberals were confident that education, urbanization and science would lead people to renounce religion. That seems to have happened, if you confine your gaze to Europe, Canada and American university faculty clubs.

But this movement has not been as benign as expected: The secular faiths of fascism and communism destroyed millions of lives before they were extinguished.

America has not moved in the expected direction. In fact, just the opposite. Economist Robert Fogel's "The Fourth Great Awakening" argues that we've been in the midst of a religious revival since the 1950s, in which, as in previous revivals, "the evangelical churches represented the leading edge of an ideological and political response to accumulated technological and social changes that undermined the received culture."

I keep hearing from commentators like Bill O'Reilly that we are becoming less religious and churches are empty. I think those people are either Catholic or in a mainstream denomination such as Episcopalian or Presbyterian. Not all, but many of these churches offer nothing but empty religious rituals. The evangelical churches that don't waver in their beliefs and aggressively court prospects are thriving. Those mega churches such as Saddleback and Willow Creek aren't hurting for members. They keep building and building.


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