Nationwide, the "Unaffiliated" have increased their market share from 16% to 22.8%. In my neck of the woods, that number is 42%. According to another study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, Portland, Oregon is America's Most Religiously Unaffiliated Metro.
Of these unaffiliated, 43% do not believe in God. That is compared to 10% of all Americans.
68% of the unaffiliated "completely disagree" with this statement: "It is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values."
It seems that the concept of "God" and "belief in God" is a problem for a significant number of people. This is a legitimate question that we practicing theologians need to raise. Is Christianity tied to a particular concept of God? This topic needs to be raised in the church in a safe environment free from charges of violating "ordination vows" and what all.
I declare that it is time for a full discussion about God within the Presbyterian Church (USA).
God is on the table for dissection. How has the concept of God evolved? Does the concept have a future? Is there a reality to what this concept points? Is it possible to retain the concept of God in a modern understanding of the universe? Can we be Presbyterians with or without God?
I am going to do my part in rousing up the deity discussion. If you haven't read my article in the Friendly Atheist yet, check it out. You should also visit the website of my friend and radical theologian, Gretta Vosper. She's poking the hornet's nest north of the border.
Here is a start to the discussion.
This summer, we are doing a program called Southminster Reads. I received the privilege of picking the book! We will read it over the summer and I will do a sermon on it in September. It is Nancy Ellen Abrams, A God That Could Be Real: Science, Spirituality, and the Future of Our Planet. I recorded an interview with her about the book that will be coming up on Religion For Life in June.
For a sneak peak into what this God might be like read her articles, part 1 and part 2 at NPR.