Winter 2010, Vol. 12, No. 3

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Spiritual Politics blog

Articles in this issue:

Table of Contents

An Army of One

From the Editor:
The End of the Christian Right

The Open and Affirming Lutherans

Angling for Anglicans

The Fighting Atheists

Not in My Canton

China's Lama Obsession

Scientology's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Letter to the Editor


New books

Letter to the Editor 

Thanks to Andrew Manis for his informative article on falling Southern Baptist membership.[Baptists Shrink, Religion in the News, Vol. 12, No. 2] Actually, the trend may have started before it appeared in the numbers he cites. When the Baptists officially apologized in 1995 for supporting slavery, and tried to move away from their exclusivist racial heritage, they began to affiliate existing Black congregations as a way of speeding up the reconciliation. By 2008, 20% of congregations were ethnic minority and a million members were African American. This led to apparent membership increases, but was in fact an artifact of the accounting procedures. Without those bonus members, the decline would have appeared well before the current crisis. A congregation-by-congregation tracking of heritage SBC churches would probably show an even more dramatic pattern of decline.

 Ron Stockton

University of Michigan-Dearborn



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