Who’s accomodating whom?

November 1, 2004 | 2 comments

Greg Call links to Dave’s Mormon Inquiry on whether Church accomodation has led to slower Church growth.

Dave’s Mormon Inquiry makes a comment that I thought deserved wider circulation and discussion. The book he reviews discusses the dilemma most churches face between attracting converts by staying apart from the culture and decreasing tension by accomodating themselves to the culture. In contrast, Dave’s Mormon Inquiry observes:

I think we are decreasing tension by making our own culture and slowly spreading it . . . .

I’d like to discuss DMin’s whole post and this insight in particular, but I’ve used up most of my blogging time for the day. Have at it, y’all.

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2 Responses to Who’s accomodating whom?

  1. D. Fletcher on November 1, 2004 at 4:48 pm

    Um…you could use another “m” in your title, “Who’s accommodating whom?”

  2. Jeremiah J. on November 1, 2004 at 7:57 pm

    As far as I understand it, Starke’s argument that conservative churches grow more focuses on the fact that conservative churches make more demands on their members and in this way weed out free riders more efficiently. I’m having trouble remembering what Starke says in _Churching_ (he’s added to the argument in many other publications), but perhaps it does include something about presenting a distinctive product in the religious market. Still, I don’t think that Starke would say that emphasizing our Christ-centeredness makes us any less conservative (in the sense of demanding and perhaps distinctive) especially since we still teach Christ primarily through the Book of Mormon, we still teach the Apostasy and Restoration as a central part of our missionary mesage, and we still have a demanding set of basic lifestyle norms. The product that the church puts on the religious market is still distinctive, and the church is still efficient at weeding out free riders.


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