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Just five years before, in , 61 per cent of Australians identified themselves in the census as Christians. In this number had dropped dramatically to 52 per cent. In the figure had been 64 per cent, so in the half decade after there was a gentle decline. In the half decade after there was a radical decline.

In Defence of Christians

Nearly one in ten fewer Australians identified as Christian than five years earlier. One in ten! Whatever was happening in the rest of the West, believers could say: look at the biggest, most powerful, most populous, most successful nation the West, or the world, has ever known—it is deeply religious and as religious as any nation you could name.

Religious belief in the US is stronger than it is in Australia or the UK, but the trend of decline is just the same. According to the authoritative Pew Research organisation, in some 78 per cent of Americans identified themselves as Christian. By this had dropped startlingly to 70 per cent. In the group identifying as having no religious belief was 16 per cent; by it had jumped to 23 per cent.

In defence of Christianity | The Spectator Australia

The corresponding figure in was just 6 per cent. The age breakdown is similar to the UK and Australia. Religious belief both represents a smaller percentage, and is held less intensely, the younger the age group. In America, the secular view of life has won the elites on both coasts, in Hollywood and television and in most of academe.

Typically, where the elites lead, the public ultimately follows, because the elites supervise education and create most of the public culture. How did we get to this strange and at times deluded cul-de-sac of history at the present moment in the West? The processes have been very long.

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Perhaps the most important challenge was sustained affluence. Every human being, and the universe they create, stands always on the brink of extinction.


And every human being is in need of mercy. But widespread affluence, with all the good things that it brings, helps disguise death and hide it in nursing homes and hospitals, and keep people distracted, ever more distracted. The lack of purpose and meaning, the lack of any ultimate standards that come with the exile of God from our culture lead to savage polarisations and sudden outbursts of hysterical sentiments.

This short book of Christian apologetics attempts to show the main reasons that can be advanced in support of the Christian faith. These reasons do not constitute the foundations of Christianity, but are more like buttresses supporting a faith position already held or considered hypothetically.

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They fall into three groups: appeals to facts and ideas available to anyone, irrespective of time or place; appeals to particular events and strands in human history; and appeals to the inner rationale of developed Christian doctrine. The book stresses the ways in which the first group of appeals tradi All of them are open to critical scrutiny, and to discussion by people of any faith or none. Keywords: apologetics , reason , faith , history , doctrine , theology , explanation , creation.

A defense of Christianity

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