The Christian Imagination

The Pew Forum on Religion and American Life just released survey results that are being widely discussed in newspapers and the blogsphere. Of everything that follows, it is ‘according to that report.’

Time Magazine has an article titled: America’s Unfaithful Faithful.

For the first time, a large-scale study has quantified what many experts suspect: there is a constant membership turnover among most American faiths….According to Pew, 28% of American adults have left the faith of their childhood for another one. And that does not even include those who switched from one Protestant denomination to another; if it did, the number would jump to 44%.

Gene Edward Veith has a blog post titled, Protest numbers slide, where he references US News and the Washington Post. Protestants are on the verge of dropping below 50% in the US. There doesn’t appear to be much loyalty across the board, as people switch churches AND religions, or simply choose to be unaffiliated.

USA Today has an interactive app called Topography of Faith which gives a state-by-state religious breakdown.

Stats, of course, can be interpreted in a number of ways. Most people still refer to themselves as Christians, even if we are not all that committed. Really, though, I think being committed to a flavor of Christianity is less important than being committed to a local church. While I haven’t read the entire survey, I don’t think it measures that stat…

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