THEWEEK – Jonathan Merritt – August 28, 2017: Back in the 1990s, it often seemed that every city and town in America had a strip mall with a Christian bookstore where you could purchase WWJD bracelets and enough devotional books to fill up the Ark of the Covenant. But today, these Christian bookstores are a dying breed. Indeed, it seems we are fast approaching an America where this particular brand of religious retailer will be no more than a memory.
Christian publishing has long been a presence in American life. But it was a renewed desire to evangelize the world following World War II that fueled the modern rise of Christian publishing, which focused mostly on Bibles and gospel tracts at the time.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which cultural trend triggered the renewed interest in Christian content, but the American cultural revolution in the ’60s and ’70s seems like a plausible candidate. A perfect storm of progressive social change movements — from civil rights to feminism, anti-war protesting to environmentalism — swept across America.
In addition to the transformation of media, the American religious landscape was shifting rapidly. According to Gallup, church attendance and religiosity declined during the ’90s and early 2000s. Americans identifying as non-religious rose during this period. As younger Christians came of age, they found themselves less interested in the American Christian subculture and its institutions. Link: Read Complete Article