Premature Requiems for Religion

Our side is so good at producing information — and so lousy at disseminating it (which is why we lose the information war). Note the articles linked below too. Here is John Stonestreet writing at Breakpoint:

Is religion headed for extinction? Some experts think so. But if you ask me, the funeral planning is premature.

In his classic tale, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain tells of Tom and Huckleberry Finn’s brief career as pirates. When the boys get bored with life on the Mississippi and hang up their hooks and return home, they find the whole town has gathered for a funeral—their funeral. Concealed at the back of the church, Tom and Huck are so moved by the minister’s eulogy they join in weeping. That is, until someone catches sight of the drowned boys, miraculously back from the dead.

Well, that feeling of attending your own funeral is one that Christians are getting pretty familiar with these days. But to borrow a phrase from Twain himself, “Reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.” And that’s not only true of Christianity, but of religion in general, which prognosticators from the secular press and academics continually warn have one foot in the grave.

But they are late to the party. Experts have been prophesying the demise of religion for at least 150 years. Karl Marx, way back in the 1860’s, predicted that religion would vanish once the working class no longer needed the “opiate” of the life to come. Sigmund Freud wrote in 1927, “in the future science will go beyond religion, and reason will replace faith in God.”

In the 21st century, the predictions of religion’s extinction continue, despite the stubborn existence of believers. In 2013, biopsychologist Nigel Barber wrote a book predicting that within thirty years, religion would effectively disappear in 137 countries. And an article last month in the U.K.’s Independent reported on yet another team of scientists who expect faith to die out worldwide.

Dr. Nicholas Baumard, who works in the infamously imaginative field of evolutionary psychology, recently co-authored a study claiming to explain the origins of religion, and why we can expect it to vanish as the world develops economically.

Read more:

Mapped: What the world’s religious landscape will look like in 2050
Raziye Akkoc | | April 8, 2015

Despite What You’ve Heard, World Is More Religious Than Ever
Richard Land | | January 12, 2016

British Christianity Death Watch
Rod Dreher | American Conservative | May 29, 2016

The Triumph of Faith: Why the World Is More Religious than Ever
Rodney Stark | Intercollegiate Studies Institute | November 2015

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