I wrote a commentary on The End of Christian America for the Acton Institute. As you can tell from the title of this blog post, I'm a little skeptical.
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Christian America is busy dying again.
If you believe some partisan historians, it was dead before the American Revolution, or at least, nobody important was a Christian by then. The Founders had all moved on to deism. Then again, maybe Christian America died at the Scopes Trial during the 1920s when Clarence Darrow pinned down the non-theologian, non-scientist politician William Jennings Bryan with the power of hostile cross-examination. If it wasn’t dead by then, it was really dead by the late 1960s when every other religion book seemed to be about either the death of God movement or “secular” Christianity. The most memorable volume of the period was Harvey Cox’s The Secular City, which put a happy face of the death of public Christianity and heralded a new, more mature age of secular community.
Meanwhile, a host of prominent sociologists of religion sagely assured the public (and each other) that public faith simply could not co-exist with a world full of technological wonders like conveyor belts, cathode ray tubes, and time and motion studies. The great sociologist Peter Berger imagined tiny groups of believers huddled together against the coming of the 21st century.
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