How Preaching Reveals This Secularizing Trend: A Look at a Sociologist's Study

Friday, 29 Feb 2008

The Pelagian tendency of popular Christianity in our day-which Christian Smith called "moralistic, therapeutic deism"-can be further substantiated by the studies of sociologist Marsha Witten. In All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism, Witten revealed her results from studying the texts of 47 sermons on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), delivered from 1986 to 1988 by various pastors in two denominations: the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Southern Baptist Convention. She begins the book by recounting an afternoon on Good Friday 1990. Listening to J. S. Bach's St. Matthew ...

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