This article just appeared in the London Telegraph:
According to the study, only 12 per cent of Britons feel they “belong” to a church, compared with 52 per cent in France. It also found that the UK has one of the highest rates of “fuzzy faith” – or people who have an abstract belief in God and an ill-defined loyalty to Christian traditions.
The study, conducted as part of the influential EU-funded European Social Survey, will be seen as an indicator of a shift in attitudes and values.
Professor David Voas, of Manchester University’s Institute for Social Change, who led the project, said the UK was involved in a “long process of disestablishment”, with Christianity gradually being written out of laws and political institutions.
“Christian faith will soon have no role among our traditional establishments or lawmakers,” he said….
He added: “Fuzzy faith is a staging post on the road to non-religion. Adults still have childhood memories of being taken to church, and they maintain a nostalgic affection for Christianity but that is dying out. They still go along with the some kind of religious identity but they’re not passing it on to the next generation, and people who aren’t raised in a religion don’t generally start one as adults.”
However, Professor Linda Woodhead, of Lancaster University, who is leading a long-term £8.5 million government research programme on the role of religion in society, disputed Prof Voas’ conclusions.
“Just because you’re not religious, it doesn’t mean you’re not spiritual or moral,” she said. “A lot of people simply don’t want to take the whole package of religion on board.”
In other words, people are stripping the Christian faith of its pulpit and keeping only the steeple. Steeples look good on postcards, but the power is in the pulpit.
All the evidence tells us America is only one step behind the UK. That’s why I’m committed to biblical exposition as a preacher, to church evangelism as a pastor, and a congregational program of Scripture memory. That’s why I’m committed to praying for revival and sowing as much Gospel-seed as possible. It’s all right, if necessary, to be few in number (Christians usually are) but it’s never okay to have a fuzzy faith.