In On Faith and Culture, Jonathan Merritt examines the popularity of Pope Francis in America and what it might reveal about American attitudes toward Christianity in general:
What does the pope’s popularity—even among secular populations—say about broader culture? For one thing, it says that American society is actually more open and amenable to Christians and the Christian faith than some assume…
Recognizing the complexity of this cultural narrative provides an opportunity for those who call themselves “Christians” to reflect on why they are actually encountering some resistance from some sectors of society. Is any of it deserved? Which opposition can be written off as irrational disdain and which is legitimate defiance to a malformation of the faith? When is the social tension a necessary result of speaking prophetically and when are we paying a price unnecessarily?
The full article from the Religion News Service is here.