The main reason for the decline of Christianity in the West, it seems to me, is decline in belief in the soul. If you believe you have an immortal soul, and that, as Christianity teaches, that soul is destined after your physical death to go to Heaven or Hell, you will want to do everything in your power to live your earthly life so that you go to Heaven. If you believe, as most people seem to, that this earthly life is all there is, and are untroubled by questions about how we got here and the origin of existence, you might as well enjoy whatever this life affords and not give Christianity a second thought. Particularly if you're as well off as most people in the West are.

I wonder to what extent belief in the soul has also declined within the Church itself and is substituted by a concern for "social justice".

28 January 2014


  1. It is also possibly caused within the church by a blurring of the distinction between the spirit (pneuma) and soul (psyche).

  2. I don't agree. It's not the immortality of the soul in which people disbelieve; it's sin and judgment. For the average Australian, there is no such thing as sin, in the sense of wrongdoing which separates one from eternal life; and no such thing as a last judgment in which the righteous will be divided from the unrighteous. God will forgive everything. With the result that if there is a heaven, the average Australian thinks he has just as much right to be there as anyone else.