Feeling Apologetic

Just two weeks ago Stephen Prothero had this to say about religion in America:

Austrians, Norwegians and the Irish can tell you about the Seven Deadly Sins or the Five Pillars of Islam. But, according to a 1997 poll, only one out of three U.S. citizens is able to name the most basic of Christian texts, the four Gospels, and 12% think Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc. That paints a picture of a nation that believes God speaks in Scripture but that can’t be bothered to read what he has to say.

But that might be about to change, according to this snippet from the body formerly known as the Christian Booksellers Association (received via email), reporting on a conference speaker:

Thom Rainer, Billy Graham School of Missions dean [at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary] and Church Central president, said Christian apologetics is a coming hot book genre. Cultural conflicts between religions, heightened by the war on terrorism, will drive churches to understand other faiths while defending and spreading Christianity. Rainer’s recent research found many churches are forming apologetics departments to help Christians to understand what and why they believe.

Rainer’s Church Central Associates, which offers “Church Health Surveys”, can be seen here. But what if the church-goers find themselves disagreeing with what it is they’ve found out they believe?…

One Response

  1. Part of what makes me feel superior to the religious is the dozen or more religions whose basic texts I have read. Confucius, Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Chuang-Tzu Some Buddha Jesus, Jews, (just a tiny bit of) Mohammed Maya, Aztec, Inca Karuk (random tribe of Northern California, lived where I did, near Arcata)

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