I found this article by Aaron Renn in First Things very interesting -- the author posits that Christianity (particularly evangelical Christianity) has transitioned from the "postive" world (a world that generally advocates and rewards Christian profession), through a "neutral" world, and now into a "negative" world where professing a Christian faith is a detriment. It's an interesting piece, but I'm not sure I buy it. For one thing, Renn focuses too much on religion in the context of America (or the western world more generally). It's become something of a cliche amongst the intelligentsia that Christianity in the west is dying out; Matthew Arnold wrote "Dover Beach" in 1867, and Nietszche declared God dead not long afterward. According to the smarties, Christianity has been languishing for a good long while now. And yet here we are still. Bibles still continue to top the best-seller charts; Christian-themed media still does very well ("The Chosen" is huge right now). The megachurch model may pass away (and good riddance to it), but the Christian faith will march on in the faithful. For another, the influence of Christianity in America waxes and wanes. It's like a pendulum; every twenty years or so, the bob swings back and forth. The late 70's and 80's were the height of the leftist boogeyman "religious right"; now the Evangelical churches are in eclipse. The worm will turn. It always does. The American south and midwest will remain heavily Christian, and I think even the southwestern US will surprise some people as Hispanics continue their exodus from the RC church and adopt Protestantism. And finally, Renn's thesis suffers from the same myopia as other western religious writers. Christianity is doing just fine in much of the Global South and Asia, thank you very much. The faith has never been a numbers game, but even if it was, we gain more than we lose every year. For every American Millennial or Zoomer who falls away, we gain ten African or Asian converts. Who knows? Perhaps some day in ten or twenty years, African missionaries may bring these wayward Americans back into the fold.