There is a buzzword in the Christian community: “Post-Christian” is the new description for trends in America. Christian leaders are encouraging each other to face the new reality or continue on the path of irrelevance.
Facts & Trends, a quarterly Christian publication for pastors and Christian leaders, released it’s Winter 2018 edition entitled, “Thriving in a Post-Christendom Culture.”
Carol Pipes, editor-in-chief of the publication put out its somber message to Christian leaders:
We now live in a post-Christendom age where the church is no longer central to American life.
The contents of the publication include a lead article entitled, “Hope for dying churches,” and lead statements such as, “Fewer Americans will have room for God in their Lives.” It includes statistics showing the dramatic 63% rise of religious unaffiliated Americans from 2007 to 2017.
This follows a study last month by the Barna Group revealing that young people between the ages of 13-18 – known as Generation Z – are now twice as likely as older people to describe themselves as atheists. In addition, the religious “none” category continues to rise. Assuming the trend continues for those under the age of 13, that would represent a quarter of the United States population who are growing up in this “post-Christian” environment, where a growing number of young people are claiming no religious identity at all.
This past year, Philadelphia Catholic leader Charles J. Chaput wrote a book entitled, “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World.” Just today, World Religion News headlined, “Gen Z is the first Post-Christian Generation.”
While post-Christian is an unfortunate description for some, other groups use it as a self-description. The president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Dana McLean Greeley, has proudly described Unitarian Universalism as post-Christian, since Christians no longer considers her congregations as Christian.