Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. Two of the best researchers on the church in America have pointed out in a recent article that enthusiastic Christianity is on the decline. I hate to hear this, but I believe we must understand the reasons why and petition the Lord of the harvest to show as ways to restore biblical enthusiasm. And I believe He can!
Read this article citing research by colleagues Mark Chavez and David Voas and then let us look for ways to help people restore the enthusiasm that God intends for them to experience.
Is American religion exceptional? Maybe, maybe not by Yonat Shimron Religious News Service, 11/19/18.
… In an article published in Sociological Science last week (Nov. 15), David Voas and Mark Chaves, of University College London and Duke University, respectively, maintain that U.S. religious devotion may be higher than in other Western countries but it too is slowly declining and essentially no different from other developed nations in its growing secularization.
On the other side are two graduate students, one at Harvard and the other at Indiana University, who argue the most devout Americans have remained so and the decline is coming from those with moderate religious habits…
Voas and Chaves counter that even the intensely religious segment of the American population is shrinking. Just as Europe has become more secular, so too has America, just at a slower rate.
“The fact of the matter is, even on the intense religious category the U.S. is declining, if very slowly,” said Chaves, a professor of sociology and religious studies at Duke University.
Both teams examined five indicators of intense religion: strong religious affiliation, more than weekly attendance at religious services, biblical literalism, affiliation with an evangelical religious group and praying multiple times per day.
Voas and Chaves argue that between 1973 and today there’s been a significant drop in religious Americans’ responses in three key indicators: affiliation, the number of religious services people attend each week and their belief that the Bible is the literal word of God.
For example, only 6.6 percent of Americans attended church more than once a week between 2012 and 2016, a drop from 8 percent in 1973.
Asked if “the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word,”
31 percent said yes between 2010 and 2016, a drop from 35 percent between 1984 and 1990.
The reason for the overall drop? It’s generational, argue Voas and Chaves…
Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2018/11/19/is-american-religion-exceptional-maybe-maybe-not/