Blog Post 2/4

In class right now we have been discussing a lot of charts and looking at the trends such as the populations of Protestant and Catholic churches, over many years. Overall one connection that can be drawn is that the populations in churches have decreased over many years and the population of unaffiliated people has increased. Although we can deduce this correlation from the chart, it does not tell us the reason for this decline. One might be able to speculate, but cannot prove causation based on the graph. One topic that was brought up in class that intrigued me was the discussion of someone identifying themselves as spiritual or religious. One chart from Chaves novel showed that there is a growing minority of people becoming more spiritual and less religious. He states that one interpretation of the graph would be that more people are concerned with spiritual matters, whatever that might mean to them, and less concerned with being a part of organized religion. He goes on to claim that as this group of individuals continues to grow, that it may give rise to a new type of religion. I found this to be very fascinating that we could be witness to a new, completely different form of worship. A new form of religion that has been becoming more popular among individuals is the Calvary Church, a new paradigm church mentioned in Millers novel, “Reinventing American Protestantism”. Here it is much more laid back, people can dress as they want, and the music is less traditional than what you would consider “typical” gospel music. I think that if spiritual individuals were to begin to congregate and share their beliefs it would be similar to the laid-back structure of the Calvary Churches. However, it would be very interesting to see how they ran their meetings, to see how closely they resembled churches now, and what they felt were important, core features to their new spiritual religion.