A common phrase used in recent years to describe some people is “spiritual but not religious.” It sounds good and believable given our modern individualistic tendencies and self focus. In a sense, it was a bit comforting to think that those who no longer attend church or practice their religion publicly are still personally spiritual and attuned to the things of God. The story line became that religion was in decline while spirituality was increasing.
Well, it turns out that this new “spiritual but not religious” category may be a bit too clever to survive investigation. Nancy T. Ammerman, the highly regarded sociologist of religion, has completed a major research project focused on a cross section of the U.S. population that matches the religious make up of the nation.
Using in-depth interviews over a period of time, the project sought to understand the spiritual lives of people through the stories they tell about their everyday lives.
It turns out that this divide between personal spirituality and organized religious expression does not exist in the findings…. Read the full article by Lovett Weems Jr., one of Pastor JP’s professors in his DMin program.