I’m off to Illinois for several days and plan to do a good bit of reading on the plane. If you too are looking for something to read over the weekend, here are a few suggestions.
On Tuesday of this week, the Pew Research Center published findings from one of their latest surveys. The title of the study is “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” Here’s the first paragraph:
The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.
Many Christians have been discouraged by these findings. If that’s you, then I encourage you to read the response written by Russell Moore, titled “Is Christianity Dying?” Moore rightly holds out hope:
The future of Christianity is bright. I don’t know that from surveys and polls, but from a word Someone spoke one day back at Caesarea Philippi. The gates of hell haven’t gotten any stronger, and the Light that drives out the darkness is enough to counter every rival gospel, even those gospels that describe themselves as “none.”
This calls for celebration! So, as you think about how best to celebrate, have a look at Preston Sprinkle’s article written last September for Relevant, titled “What Does the Bible Really Say about Alcohol?” Preston is a fellow member of the Center for Pastor Theologians, and his article is one of the best popular treatments of the alcohol question I have stumbled (you see what I just did there?) across. Also, I can certainly relate to his opening anecdote. While working on my PhD in New Zealand, our postgraduate theology seminars regularly were held in a pub!