The Resurgence of Intelligent Faith

by Matt Walker

Last week the Barna Research Group came out with statistical projections for 2014. This research and the research of others is astounding.

The first trend listed amongst others was that “the role of ‘church’ generates both more skeptics and stronger apologists.” They show that “The rising resistance to faith institutions is evidenced in the newer language used to discuss spirituality today. When it comes to matters of the soul, disclaimers are emerging as the new faith identifiers. Today, there are those who self-describe as ‘spiritual, but not religious’—individuals who like to associate with what they perceive as the positive elements of spirituality but not the negative associations of organized religion. Or consider the rise of the ‘Nones’—the much-discussed adults who are religiously unaffiliated and who don’t want to use any conventional label for their religious faith. And in many places, the prefix ‘post-’ is being attached to matters of faith. Post-Christian. Post-denominational. Post-evangelical. Post-religious.”

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This may seem surprising to you. As I’ve done other research I have come across many other statistics that demonstrate the need for Christian apologetics in our time:

  • The percentage of those who claim no religion has risen to 40%
  • The largest families in America are Muslim and Mormon (our future leaders and culture shapers being their children)
  • The fastest growing religion in America is Islam
  • Christianity is in sharp decline
  • 4% of Americans have an orthodox biblical worldview
  • 9% of Christians have an orthodox Christian worldview
  • 51% of pastors have an orthodox biblical worldview
  • 34% of adults believe in moral absolutes (and the percentage drops considerably with younger people)
  • 50% of people believe in the accuracy of the Bible
  • 27% of adults believe Satan is a real force
  • 8 million twenty-somethings alive today will no longer attend church by the time they turn 30
  • The Church is becoming less theologically literate

These numbers can be overwhelming, and they should be, but there is a new dawn rising in the midst of all of these trends…

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