By Ronald Kydd
Recent news reports have pointed to a Protestant miracle: there are still some growing mainline Protestant churches in Canada.
Those unfamiliar with the religious landscape of our country will need to know that mainline Protestant Churches here – the Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Churches – are a shadow of their former selves and, as a clergyperson in the mainline family, I’m genuinely saddened. At one time, up to about the end of the 1960s, they were the spiritual home of the majority of Canadians who weren’t practicing Catholics. But about four decades ago the number of attendees began to fall off and the downhill momentum has continued unabated – or so some thought.
The media have described a new academic study that not only found some growing mainline Protestant churches in Canada, but also identified a reason for this growth. Published in the peer-reviewed Review of Religious Research, under the bluntly descriptive title “Theology Matters,” the study found