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Winning in the Midst of a Free Market Religious Economy!,
This review is from: The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in our Religious Economy (Hardcover)
Even though this book was published eight years ago, it still ought to be on the book shelf of any serious student of American Christianity, and be a part of the strategic knowledge base of any denominational executive who pretends to know what it will take for his or her denominational organization to be a viable force for societal and spiritual transformation in the twenty-first century.
The 214 years of American religious history covered by this book represents the transformation from a time when as a nation most people took no part in organized religion, to a time when nearly two-thirds do. The continual founding of new religious movements during this two-century period has allowed for a freshness that could not be controlled by institutionalized religion.
The control exercised by established churchlike religious organizations in the past actually led to their decline. They could not survive in a free market religious economy. Methods of establishing control included identifying a state-endorsed church, controlling who could be ordained and serve as pastors, and having a non-congregational polity or form of governance.
While it may seem to be a contradiction, it the high expectations that religious organizations--particularly congregations--place on individual believers that results in a tenacious and growing church movement. What was true in 1776 is still true in 2000 and beyond. To discover the secrets of past and future success and vitality, purchase and read this book.
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