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6 Responses to “Eye of the Beholder”

  1. Jim Duncan says:

    statistics are often used like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support rather than illumination.

  2. Trent McEntyre says:

    The Christianity Today take strikes me as a “guard the fort” mentality. Maybe that is appealing to evangelicals who feel called to defend “America’s Christian Heritage.” It’s a defensive strategy that at best will just slow the decline of Christian faith in American communities.

    The USA Today take strikes me as imaginative. “Nones soar” sounds refreshing and invigorating. But I don’t here a compelling narrative for the growing number of people who have no religious affiliation. “None” is fine as long as you don’t have to explain “why.” (Why are we here? Why are somethings beautiful and others not? Why are humans prone to error?)

    Mike, I look forward to your next post on the rise of the religious nones. My guess is that it has something to do with how Christians have reduced our faith from a way of life to a marginalized part of life.

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    Trent – I tend to agree with your take on CT. It sounds a bit like circling the wagons. Without a doubt, there can be “confirmation bias” in both cases (as well with my take). My sense is that the rise of the religious nones is rather foreign to most churchgoers–and perhaps threatening.

  4. Biz says:

    Hey Mike,

    Looking forward to this new set of blogs. I too was struck by the way CT framed the issue. Their particular interpretation grabbed me as ‘out of sync’ but I had no clear words to verbalize my thoughts. This is/will be helpful!

  5. Adam Mueller says:

    Good Morning Mike and Trent,

    I think you both have a valid point with respect to the rise of the religious “nones.” Allow me to add to the discussion by submitting that my generation (I’m 32) seems to think that not offering any religious affiliation is the appropriate thing to do. In other words, it’s almost viewed as being polite. If you affiliate with a religious belief, then you are bound to “moral facts.” Our culture doesn’t like the idea of “moral facts.” Below is a quote from a fantastic article I’ve read.

    “In summary, our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.”

  6. Marshall says:

    Thought provoking article. Thank you, Mike. If much of identity is who we are and then what we do, not what we say we are, I wonder if USA Today’s read on the situation isn’t more accurate. We’ve had a lot of verbal, religious identification but how many are truly born again, producing fruit? Maybe the numbers actually have a chance to rise now? Interesting times.

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