Religion: Is Protestantism Slipping?

Have statistics got anything to do with religion? Not much, concludes Protestant Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, writing in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly. U.S. Protestantism may not be losing ground numerically, but its religious vitality is slipping.

Protestantism, says Niebuhr, began to wane after 1850. "It was the affinity between Evangelical Christianity and frontier democracy which made churches of sectarian origin, notably the Methodist and Baptist, the most powerful churches of our nation. . . . But the Evangelical antidote against secularism was not to prove permanently effective."

In the South, says...

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