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An Historic Look at Protestant Eschatological Thought on the Rise and Fall of Islam
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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If current rates continue, most religious communities in America will shrink by more than half within three generations. But nondenominational Christianity might buck the trend.Birth rates in the United States are near record lows, but not for everyone.Under the surface of the fertility decline is a little-noticed fact: Births have declined much more among nonreligious Americans than among the devout.Data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 1982 to 2019, along with data from four waves of the Demographic Intelligence Family Survey (DIFS) from 2020 to 2022, point to a widening gap in fertility rates between more religious and less religious Americans.In recent years, the fertility gap by religion has widened to unprecedented levels. But while this difference may comfort some of the faithful who hope higher fertility rates will ultimately yield stable membership in churches and synagogues, these hopes may be in vain. Rates of conversion into unfaith are too high, and fertility rates too low, to yield stable religious populations.Past religious fertilitySince 1982, the NSFG has asked respondents about their religious attendance and their recent fertility history. In recent years, it has operated as a continuous annual survey.As a result, data from over 70,000 women surveyed from 1982 to as recently as 2019 can be used to estimate fertility rates for three broad groups of women: those without any religious affiliation, those with religious affiliation but less than weekly attendance, and those with at least weekly attendance.Total fertility rates are estimated by using a given group’s current birth rates by age to guess how many children a woman would end up having over the course of her life. In practice, however, birth rates shift as women get older, and of course religious identity can change over time, as well, so fertility measures of this kind are unlikely to perfectly ...Continue reading...
It's not mainline traditions anymore. Over the last decade Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and every other Protestant family has declined except for those who say they are nondenominational.The 2020 US Religion Census, due out later this year, tallied 4,000 more nondenominational churches than in 2010, and nondenominational church attendance rose by 6.5 million during that time.At the same time, mainline Protestant Christianity is collapsing following five decades of declines. In the mid-1970s, nearly a third of Americans were affiliated with denominations like the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church. But now, just one in ten Americans are part of the mainline tradition.In 2021, nondenominational Protestants in the United States outnumbered mainline Protestants. But what is causing this tremendous shift in the church landscape?In the General Social Survey, Americans are asked about the religion they were raised in and then their current tradition. Mainline traditions have struggled for decades to retain believers born into their churches. In the 1970s, about three-quarters of those raised mainline would still belong to mainline churches as adults. In the 2010s, the share who stayed mainline had declined to just over half (55%).Of the 45 percent of the mainline who leave, some end up in evangelical congregations; however, the evangelical share did not increase between the 1980s and the 2010s. Instead, the bigger story is that the portion of those who leave the mainline and become a religious “none”—claiming no faith or no tradition in particular—has tripled since the 1970s, from 6 percent to nearly 20 percent in the most recent data. Thus, there’s not a lot of evidence that ...Continue reading...
It's not mainline traditions anymore. Over the last decade Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and every other Protestant family has declined except for those who say they are nondenominational.The 2020 US Religion Census, due out later this year, tallied 4,000 more nondenominational churches than in 2010, and nondenominational church attendance rose by 6.5 million during that time.At the same time, mainline Protestant Christianity is collapsing following five decades of declines. In the mid-1970s, nearly a third of Americans were affiliated with denominations like the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church. But now, just one in ten Americans are part of the mainline tradition.In 2021, nondenominational Protestants in the United States outnumbered mainline Protestants. But what is causing this tremendous shift in the church landscape?In the General Social Survey, Americans are asked about the religion they were raised in and then their current tradition. Mainline traditions have struggled for decades to retain believers born into their churches. In the 1970s, about three-quarters of those raised mainline would still belong to mainline churches as adults. In the 2010s, the share who stayed mainline had declined to just over half (55%).Of the 45 percent of the mainline who leave, some end up in evangelical congregations; however, the evangelical share did not increase between the 1980s and the 2010s. Instead, the bigger story is that the portion of those who leave the mainline and become a religious “none”—claiming no faith or no tradition in particular—has tripled since the 1970s, from 6 percent to nearly 20 percent in the most recent data. Thus, there’s not a lot of evidence that ...Continue reading...
Younger generations see female nones on the rise.For decades, we’ve thought of women as more religious than men.Survey results, conventional wisdom, and anecdotal glimpses across our own congregations have shown us how women care more about their faith, though researchers haven’t been able to fully untangle the underlying causes for the gender gap across religious traditions and across the globe.Now, recent data shows the long-held trend may finally be flipping: In the United States, young women are less likely to identify with religion than young men.The findings could have a profound impact on the future of the American church.As recently as last year, the religion gender gap has persisted among older Americans. Survey data from October 2021 found that among those born in 1950, about a quarter of men identified as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular, compared to just 20 percent of women of the same age. That same five-point gap is evident among those born in 1960 and 1970 as well.For millennials and Generation Z, it’s a different story. Among those born in 1980, the gap begins to narrow to about two percentage points. By 1990, the gap disappears, and with those born in 2000 or later, women are clearly more likely to be nones than men.Among 18- to 25-year-olds, 49 percent of women are nones, compared to just 46 percent of men.There’s also a gender gap in church attendance. This pattern has been so stark that Pew Research Center found in 2016 that Christian women around the world are on average 7 percentage points more likely than men to attend services; there are no countries where men are significantly more likely than to be religiously affiliated than women.In the US, older men are more likely to say they never attend church services ...Continue reading...
Younger generations see female nones on the rise.For decades, we’ve thought of women as more religious than men.Survey results, conventional wisdom, and anecdotal glimpses across our own congregations have shown us how women care more about their faith, though researchers haven’t been able to fully untangle the underlying causes for the gender gap across religious traditions and across the globe.Now, recent data shows the long-held trend may finally be flipping: In the United States, young women are less likely to identify with religion than young men.The findings could have a profound impact on the future of the American church.As recently as last year, the religion gender gap has persisted among older Americans. Survey data from October 2021 found that among those born in 1950, about a quarter of men identified as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular, compared to just 20 percent of women of the same age. That same five-point gap is evident among those born in 1960 and 1970 as well.For millennials and Generation Z, it’s a different story. Among those born in 1980, the gap begins to narrow to about two percentage points. By 1990, the gap disappears, and with those born in 2000 or later, women are clearly more likely to be nones than men.Among 18- to 25-year-olds, 49 percent of women are nones, compared to just 46 percent of men.There’s also a gender gap in church attendance. This pattern has been so stark that Pew Research Center found in 2016 that Christian women around the world are on average 7 percentage points more likely than men to attend services; there are no countries where men are significantly more likely than to be religiously affiliated than women.In the US, older men are more likely to say they never attend church services ...Continue reading...
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