May 25, 2009

Khrist and the Kasuals.

In a wide-ranging discussion about the state of faith in America, veteran researcher George Barna recently addressed questions raised by his new book, The Seven Faith Tribes: Who They Are, What They Believe, and Why They Matter. In that book, Barna outlines seven diverse faith segments, profiling their lifestyles, religious beliefs and practices, values and life goals. The seven tribes include Casual Christians, Captive Christians, Mormons, Jews, Pantheists, Muslims and Skeptics.


1 comment:

velociped said...

This is a problem with studies on contemporary philosophies: they quickly become obsolete.

Ignoring the folly of considering skeptics as one of "The Seven Faith Tribes" (LOL), Barna identifies this group as representing around 11% of the population. That may be true, if one considers only atheists or only agnostics. However, if combined, they number significantly higher.

As recently as one month ago, survey results from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that number to be several percentage points higher. In fact, they state:

"The group that has grown the most in recent years due to religious change is the unaffiliated population. Two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated and half of former Protestants who have become unaffiliated say they left their childhood faith because they stopped believing in its teachings, and roughly four-in-ten say they became unaffiliated because they do not believe in God or the teachings of most religions."

My favorite comment from Barna is the following. In response to the question: "If you had to list the single, most defining characteristic of each of the seven tribes, what would each tribe’s defining faith attribute be?" He states, simply, "Skeptics are highly independent."

No, really? ;-)