I find Rodney Stark very interesting…not the least because he seems to take the Bible at it’s word and yet cannot believe…but even so he has a lot to say to the church, this is from an interview with a Catholic group:
You say that Christianity succeeded in part because of its high moral standards. Today, however, many churches are lowering the bar to make religion more popular. How would you analyze their efforts?
RS: They’re death wishes. People value religion on the basis of cost, and they don’t value the cheapest ones the most. Religions that ask nothing get nothing. You’ve got a choice: you can be a church or a country club. If you’re going to be a church, you’d better offer religion on Sunday. If you’re not, you’d better build a golf course, because you’re not going to get away with being a country club with no golf course. That’s what happened to the Episcopalians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Unitarians and, indeed, to some sectors of Catholicism.