The “nones” or religiously unaffiliated are now the largest “religious” identity category in America. What does that mean for our culture? What does it mean for the church as we engage with people around us, who are today more likely to be a “none”? We will explore this topic in two parts.
For part one, we spoke with Dr. Dan Cox, Research Director of the Public Religion Research Institute, to help us understand better the trending “rise of the nones.” PRRI has been on the forefront of researching religion trends in the US and recently released an important study on this topic.
But more than just increase our awareness, we need to be equipped. Jana Harmon, fellow with the CS Lewis Institute, shared what it looks like to step into relationship with atheists with love and intentionality. We will address this in part two.
First, a quick introduction to a few terms. This is important because not all “nones” are the same:
Atheist: person with an affirmative expression of disbelief, who says, “There is no God. God does not exist.”
Agnostic: person who says, “I just don’t know.”
Apatheistic: person who says, “I just don’t care.”
If we were going to engage three different varieties of nones with the tools of propositional apologetics we would need: cosmological arguments to converse with the atheist and epistemological arguments to converse with the agnostic. But to converse with the apatheist we need to be equipped with both realism and hope. That means that we have to listen to the none before we can speak.
Listen to the show …