Let the Cultural Christians Come unto Jesus

The world is realizing anew that our faith has tangible benefits. This is an opportunity for the gospel.

As Christianity continues to decline in the West, the broader world has begun to notice something’s missing. There seems to be a growing awareness that—for all the scandals and failings of the church—the loss of a Christian culture leaves us all worse off, and that there are benefits to being a Christian and to living in a Christian society.

For example, Derek Thompson recently wrote in The Atlantic about the loss of community that comes with declining church attendance. “Maybe religion, for all of its faults, works a bit like a retaining wall,” he concluded, “hold[ing] back the destabilizing pressure of American hyper-individualism, which threatens to swell and spill over in its absence.”

Likewise, Harvard scholar Tyler J. VanderWeele has extensively researched the benefits of participation in religious services, finding that it leads to improved mental and physical health, happiness, and sense of meaning. Statistically, going to church regularly will help you flourish as a human being. As Brad Wilcox, a professor at the University of Virginia, has shown, regular church attendance even correlates with a more satisfying sex life!

And then you have those like former atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali who explain their conversion to Christianity at least partly as a response to the decay of the contemporary world, a world threatened by “woke ideology,” “global Islam,” and authoritarianism. “The only credible answer, I believe, lies in our desire to uphold the legacy of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” Hirsi Ali said in an essay announcing her new faith. Famous atheist Richard Dawkins objected to Hirsi Ali’s conversion yet seems to …

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