The money quote comes at the end of this article. This is also my prediction:
“In the next 30 or 40 years I have left to live, I expect to see liberal forms of religion die out, and conservative forms become more conservative — this, while the great mass of the American people drift steadily into secularism. Pope Benedict XVI predicted this for Europe, and I think we are only a generation behind our Old World forefathers. What’s going to be interesting is to see in what ways that intensifying conservatism among religious believers expresses itself. I think we may all be in for some surprises”
The American Conservative
Ross Douthat has a thought-provoking reflection on the future of religion, both globally and in America. He says that it’s dangerous to assume that the future will look like the present, only moreso. Which Catholics in 1940 would have foreseen something as epochal as the Second Vatican Council, coming just 20 years later? Who could have anticipated that China is on track to having the largest Christian population in the world, and that Africa would be sending missionaries to the West? But here we are. Douthat calls attention to Will Saletan’s Slate piece saying that the Mormon Church has a clear theological method to change doctrine, has done so (on polygamy and other issues), and will do it on homosexuality eventually. Saletan points out that the Mormons have a history of changing doctrine to make it easier for them to get along in American society.