Rodney Stark Quotes

  1. Those who belong to megachurches display as high a level of personal commitment as do those who attend small congregations.
  2. Many people who say they have no religion are simply saying they have no official religious affiliation. They may actually have strong personal beliefs.
  3. The great myth that many social scientists want to encourage is that there is an incompatibility between modern technology and traditional religion. This is absolute nonsense. If anything, it’s the reverse.
  4. There was only one decline in church attendance, and that was in the late 1960s when the Vatican said it was not a sin to miss Mass. They said Catholics could act like Protestants, and so they did.
  5. Leading Christian theologians such as Augustine and Aquinas were not what today might be called ‘strict constructionists.’ Rather, they celebrated reason as the means to gain greater insight into divine intentions.
  6. The Christian image of God is that of a rational being who believes in human progress.
  7. The Christian image of God is that of a rational being who believes in human progress, more fully revealing himself as humans gain the capacity to better understand.
  8. It seems that not being religious is a form of risk-taking, consistent with other patterns of short-sighted behaviour in men.
  9. Theology necessitates an image of God as a conscious, rational, supernatural being of unlimited power and scope who cares about humans and imposes moral codes and responsibilities upon them, thereby generating serious intellectual questions such as: ‘Why does God allow us to sin?’ ‘Does the Sixth Commandment prohibit war?’
  10. Every minister knows it’s harder to get the guys to church than the women. We ought to be asking why this is.
  11. Regular church-goers are substantially more likely than non-attenders to read, to take newspapers and magazines, to listen to classical music, to attend symphony concerts, operas, and stage plays.
  12. Theology is in disrepute among most Western intellectuals. The word is taken to mean a passe form of religious thinking that embraces irrationality and dogmatism. So too, Scholasticism.
  13. Had the followers of Jesus remained an obscure Jewish sect, most of you would not have learned to read, and the rest of you would be reading from hand-copied scrolls.
  14. America is an unusually religious nation.
  15. The more members of the clergy that are out there working to expand their congregations, the more people will go to church.
  16. A whole lot of Americans have never met a Mormon.
  17. High testosterone levels have been proven to make men more likely to commit crimes. The tendency in men toward risky behaviour keeps turning up even where socialization is different, and so does crime and delinquency.
  18. Can anyone seriously imagine a society without stable families? Maybe we should raise all the kids in state orphanages.
  19. Mormons are an extraordinarily educated and professional population. They have all these virtues: They work hard, don’t skip school, have no scandals. Consequently, you find them in a lot of consequential places.
  20. For one, thing, the media are dominated by the irreligious. So are universities.
  21. It can be demonstrated that in any society there is a distribution of religious tastes and concerns.
  22. Wherever you’ve got a state church, you have empty churches.
  23. American churches work very hard at reaching out to people to bring them in.
  24. Most churches are run by preachers who went to seminaries, who decided to be preachers when they were 18, 19, 20 years old. These preachers never met a payroll. They don’t know how the world works.
  25. There are many critics who think the megachurches thrive on people who enjoy dramatic Sunday services with fine music but don’t wish to become very ‘religious’ on a day-to-day basis – that the megachurch appeal is a mile wide and an inch deep.

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