The American UnReformation: The Undoing of American Evangelical Prominence and the Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated Nones
Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)
Nones, Religious Affiliation, Evangelical, Evangelicalism, Revival, American Religious History, American Religion
Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Walker, H G., "The American UnReformation: The Undoing of American Evangelical Prominence and the Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated Nones" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2311.
With over sixty percent of Protestant churches in America experiencing either plateaued or declining numbers, the ineffectiveness or outright inattention to evangelistic efforts is magnified by the aggressive growth of the Nones population; therefore, this dissertation project seeks to answer one central question related to the current increase in the number of Americans identifying as religiously unaffiliated: Are there identifiable religious resurgence mechanisms in American religious history that address the current rise of the Nones and if initiated would facilitate future religious resurgence? Lower levels of religious affiliation reveal a weakening of the heart of the Evangelical position on evangelization and carrying out the Great Commission. The strength of the religiously unaffiliated conversion and retention rates further highlights the increasing ineffectiveness of Evangelical efforts to engage a culture that is becoming altogether disinterested in organized religion, exclusive truth claims, and the faith of their forefathers (parents). a few conclusions must be proposed. First, religious alignment with political authority tends to diminish religious influence. Second, the primacy of prayer and preaching has served in each period as the impetus that sparked Evangelical resurgence. Third, the importance of the family unit in transmitting the Christian faith to the next generation was viewed as a primary responsibility of parents, and fourth, as the authority of Scripture is diminished there is a corresponding ebbing of intense religiosity. When the Evangelical message has evolved from the conversion of the individual so the individual can influence the greater culture, to interests in transforming the greater culture to affect the morality of individuals there is a declension in the effectiveness of Evangelicalism in the culture.