Not everyone beyond the church walls feels the same way.The term "nominal Christian" is a comprehensive title that includes a wide range of people who are not currently, or never have been, part of the institutional church. In his book, The Unchurched--Who They Are and Why They Stay Away, J. Russell Hale, after touring the country in 1976 and interviewing many unchurched people, developed a helpful categorization:
1. Anti-institutionalists. Those who have rejected organized religion. Some fault the church for its conservatism while others have dissociated themselves on account of its liberalism.
2. Boxed-in. Those who rebelled because they felt their lives were restrained or controlled by churches setting ethical standards to which they were not prepared to submit.
3. Burned-out. Some look back to their childhood years and early adolescence, when they were forced to attend church services and other church activities which failed to capture their interest. For others, the burnout came much ...1