In the last 24 hours, USA Today and The Christian Science Monitor have both released less than cheery articles on the future of faith in America.
"The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation," reports Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today. "The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers - or falling off the faith map completely."
The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) found that, "despite growth and immigration that has added nearly 50 million adults to the U.S. population, almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990."
That means that religious people are not simply being redistributed from one religion or denomination to another, but that more and more people are abandoning all faith altogether.
According to ARIS findings, "So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists." (You can read the rest here.
Bleak news, perhaps. But not as bleak, or specific, as Michael Spencer's observations at The Christian Science Monitor. Spencer argues, "We are on the verge - within 10 years - of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West."
Spencer's predictions do not end with the fate of evangelicalism. He sees antagonistic political postures and declining public support of evangelical Christianity on the horizon. ...