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The Experience of Unbelief

September 26th, 2023 | 7 min read

By Matthew Schultz

While unbelief has always been a feature of the modern world, the number of people who actively hold to no faith at all has risen dramatically in the last generation, especially among those who influence Western culture. Christians have responded to this rise in unbelief and the concomitant loss of a shared moral framework in a number of ways, spawning a burgeoning market for apologetics, podcasts that at turns critique or attempt to redeem the culture, and endless ministry newsletters, mass marketed products that attempt to enrich our consumption of God in a godless world. An implicit assumption of these approaches, which concede a great deal to the epistemological framework of New Atheism, is that unbelief is simply a matter of ideas. Many adopt the current culture war framework and employ a strategy where certain Christian-inspired propositions are repeated as self-evident, as if most of the problems in American life would dissipate if we would just pound the table a little harder. I have come to believe that if these strategies were based in reality—if the vitality of the church was conditioned on the proliferation of Christian arguments—they would have worked already.

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Matthew Schultz

Matthew Schultz was born in London and raised in Massachusetts. He has a BA in Religious Studies from NYU and an MA in Religion from RTS: Atlanta. He is married with children and currently works in the Atlanta area.