It had been over 50 years since I last entered the doors of Tipton Community Church, a rural Michigan congregation whose building testifies to the influence of its New England Congregationalist roots. Around the time I graduated from elementary to junior high school in 1963, our family had drifted away. The pressures of part-time farming, on top of full-time factory work, were too much for my father. The fact that the church hired a theologically liberal Congregational pastor was incidental to our departure.
My surprising claim in this blog is that the rejection of a Christian cultural consensus (as described in my last blog) could have happened in the 1930s instead of the 1960s. Here’s why: The cultural seeds for a post-Christian culture were violently planted during World War I, germinated during the 1920s, and set to blow the Christian lid off American culture. But, mercifully, the Depression happened, starting in 1929, and Americans started looking heavenward for their daily bread. And so the 60s never happened until the 1960s.