State of Belief host Welton Gaddy often talks about the need for civil discourse among people with different viewpoints and beliefs as something that would benefit us all. So when the authors of two important books that share as their subject, broadly, the state of organized religion in America today and what that’s likely to lead to tomorrow (books that then reach very different conclusions indeed) began a public debate in the pages of The New York Times and the Huffington Post, we followed the dialogue with interest. Earlier this summer, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, which was published in April, wrote in the Times that “liberal Christianity has simply collapsed.” Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, which was published in February, responded in turn on her Huffington Post page, asking the question: “Can Christianity be saved?” Ross Douthat responded in The Times with Is Liberal Christianity Actually The Future?
What if these two writers and thinkers were brought together to carry the conversation further – on State of Belief Radio? Well, Dr. Bass and Mr. Douthat met for the first time in our studios, and our August 18th broadcast was the result.