The Transformation of American Religion

This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”

I've been reading a lot about a new book, written by sociologist Alan Wolfe. It's called The Transformation of American Religion, and it's challenging book for churches and synagogues in North America. Wolfe analyzed American religion and found that we have adopted many of the values of the culture, privatized our religion, and given in to market forces. "Christians and Jews..have ignored doctrines, reinvented traditions, switched denominations, redefined morality, and translated their obligation to witness into a lifestyle." Overall, Wolfe (who would not describe himself as a Christian or Jew) sees this as a good thing. A Christianity Today review says the following:

By making religion not only attractive but easy, Wolfe says, we are experiencing "salvation inflation." The reference is to the well-known phenomenon of grade inflation, in which teachers give so many A's that top grades become meaningless. Likewise, as evangelical Christians expect less of people "to achieve salvation, the blessings of salvation are offered with fewer strings attached." Wolfe quotes another sociologist, who writes that most megachurches provde "high-intensity experiences of communality with relatively weak systems for insuring individual religious accountability
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada