More Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs – USATODAY.com

This connects with the discussion of Spirituality below:

The folks who make up God as they go are side-by-side with self-proclaimed believers who claim the Christian label but shed their ties to traditional beliefs and practices. Religion statistics expert George Barna says, with a wry hint of exaggeration, America is headed for “310 million people with 310 million religions.”

via More Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs – USATODAY.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    Wow! Now there’s a surprise. “the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodyhoward Joseph B. Howard

    Indeed. I read it and thought, as I often do, that Barna is the master of the obvious while also being a master of getting evangelicals to freak out. I also think his 310 million religions is a little low. Many people hold conflicting opinions. There’s got to be at least 311 million different religions ;-)

    But, at any rate, it fits will with the discussion of personal spiritualities in the post “Spiritual: A Bad word?” from a few days ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    I’ve placed Barna under the NUTCASE column ever since he urged Christians to quit the church in favor of ad-hoc support groups.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodyhoward Joseph B. Howard

    Then there was the “Pagan Christianity” book he co-authored with Frank Viola. An exercise in historical absurdity if ever there was one…

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    After, what was it, Revolution, I can’t honestly read a word he writes. There isn’t life enough to read words that should be read, much less the prattling of a false prophet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.seifert Cynthia Seeliger Seifert

    So funny y’all. You are so right about Barna being the master of the obvious and of getting evangelicals to freakout. :) I was on a church staff that read one of his books for a retreat. We were freaked out and at a loss at the same time. Bore no good fruit whatsoever. Just made us flagellate ourselves. Nice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    Here’s Barth in CD 1.2.17.3 talking about modern Christianity: “It accepted modern man with his energetic attitude to himself asking how best Xny could be commended to that man. It . . . was at pains to make itself indispensible, ie. by pointing out and demonstrating that if there is a truth in the Xn religion [it is that Xny] has the secret power of giving to man the inward capacity to seek and attain the aims and purposes which he has independently chosen.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.seifert Cynthia Seeliger Seifert

    I love it… when did Barth say that? Not that long ago I suspect!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    1937/38

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodyhoward Joseph B. Howard

    Cynthia,

    Self-flagellation is rarely the answer. :-p What I’ve often thought when I read Barna’s predictions is simply this: why in the world does he presume to know what his statistics actually *mean*. For most of the observations he makes there are multiple different interpretations that never get mentioned–including what Thom pointed out above, i.e. the tendency we all have to construct our own religions, a tendency as long standing as the human race.

    Thom, I love the Barth quote, thanks for sharing it. We all want to enlist God into our cause so that He can glorify us rather than doing the hard work of discerning how we can glorify God.

  • http://frjody.com Jody Howard

    @socialtrinity:twitter I’m trying out this new Disqus tagging feature to see if I can invite you to continue the conversation on my blog.  If you login to disqus and add your email account, it will automatically merge any comments you make under the twitter login with the comments imported from facebook below…

    Let’s see how it works.  I’m going to invite @annaavenhoward:twitter and @adamwaltenbaugh:twitter as well….

  • http://www.facebook.com/thom.chittom Thom Chittom

    Yet Barna’s research is still valued by the Xn biz community–go figure! As for the other, the preaching of a gospel that isn’t about “getting your life together” is the clarion call that falls particularly upon those of you called to pulpit ministry. I know and pray that both of you will continue always to struggle and find a way to avoid the spirit of the age and preach Jesus and him crucified. it is difficult when even pastoral-help and Christian Ed materials are so often centered upon making good people and avoiding the bourgeois troubles of white Western living. We laypeople cannot help ourselves. We are so eager to turn to Aaron with gold in our hands. Keep the gospel before us. Barth again: “The Christian-Protestant religion of grace is not the true religion because it is a religion of grace. . . . we could reasonably say the same of [Zen] Yodoism [or] the Bhakti religion. Why should we not say it of a whole range of other religions for which grace in different names and context is not a wholly foreign entity? Only one thing is really decisive for the distinction of truth and error. That one thing is the name of Jesus Christ.” (CD, 343)