Is belief in God alive and well in the US? Maybe. How's that for an answer? (and, according to the LA times, in CA not so much ;). The good thing is, people are talking about God and "the spiritual." So getting into a "spiritual conversation" is much easier today and provides us some opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The problem is that it is not clear which God, or if people are talking about anyone outside of themselves, or one that can be experienced by someone else. For example, is it possible for me to experience your God? Pluralism meets the privatization of religion.
(from LA Times article
) "Americans overwhelmingly believe in God and consider religion an important part of their lives, even as many shun weekly worship services, according to a national survey released today that also found great diversity in religious beliefs and practices. Ninety-two percent of those interviewed for the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey said they believe in the existence of God or a universal spirit, and 58% said they pray privately every day.
But California, like other states along the country's two coasts, resisted the prevailing national tendencies. Californians are less likely than other Americans to consider religion "very important" in their lives or to be "absolutely certain" in their belief in God.
Californians pray less than others in many parts of the country. They are less inclined to take the word of God literally. And they are ready to embrace "more than one true way" of interpreting their religious teachings."
This article provides plenty of food for thought...though I just want to highlight one phrase, because it sounds so 'tolerant' and 'inclusive'. It's just too bad its incoherent and self-contradictory. Look at this phrase:
"And they are ready to embrace "more than one true way" of interpreting their religious teachings."
This boils down to "true for you but not for me." But is this statement true for both of us? Either Jesus is not the Messiah (Judaism), is the Messiah (Christianity), or was a prophet, but not the last prophet (Islam). But all three of these can't be 'true' at the same time.
I think people are ready to move beyond simplistic slogans and engage their doubts and honest questions. I think that is why Timothy Keller's The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
is so popular right now (#87 on Amazon). It is a thoughtful book written by a thoughtful Christian (BTW - that isn't an oxymoron), and if you want to explore God and the possibility of one true God - this may be a good place to start. Or you may be a Christian with doubts you are too afriad to make known, this may be a safe place for you to question as well. You can visit his website at http://www.thereasonforgod.com/
Labels: Apologetics, Cultural Observations, Current Events, Knowledge, Philosophy, Thinking Christianly, Welcome to College