We’ve heard over and over again that the fall of Christianity in America is just a matter of time. As science and technology promise to answer questions about our existence, we’re supposedly moving in droves away from a Bible that’s considered a mere collection of stories instead of the word of God, and walking away from churches that simply can’t inspire us to believe in something greater than ourselves. Ultimately, they say, we’ll become a nation of agnostics and atheists. Secularism is the future.
But such doom and gloom may be premature. As Glenn Stanton writes in The Federalist, “The Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion found … that the percentage of church-attending Americans relative to overall population is more than four times greater today than it was in 1776. The number of attendees has continued to rise each and every decade over our nation’s history right up until the present day.”
Didn’t see that one coming? Such studies seem to fly in the face of what everyone else is saying. Even some Christian leaders bemoan the state of their faith as seemingly fewer people show up for Sunday services and as people continue to devour a popular culture promoting values antithetical to Christianity. But there’s more to the problem than meets the eye.
One of the theories as to why some people are leaving organized religion, or becoming less religious, is known as the secularization thesis. This is the idea that people as a whole…