Ed Stetzer, who runs the numbers for the Southern Baptist Convention, has an interesting essay up on the Christianity Today website, in which he answers the burning question: Why do evangelicals lie about how religion is doing in America? His answer, which includes a useful review of the actual data, is that in order to pump up the troops to go out and exercise the Great Commission, you’ve got to make things seem worse than they are.
To be sure, Stetzer doesn’t have anything to say about his own grim reports on the demographics of the SBC–probably because, in that particular case, the facts are true. (He does point out that the only denominations that are growing are a couple if Pentecostal ones.) For a review of the SBC situation, see Andy Manis’ article in the latest issue of Religion in the News.