Doug Muder writes:
“Where the mid-twentieth-century intellectual elite went wrong, I think, was in its assessment of what religion meant to everybody else. Sure, scientific theories like evolution and the Big Bang offer a more compelling interpretation of the evidence than the myths in Genesis. But the core attraction of religion has never been its ability to explain the physical world. Christianity didn’t replace paganism because Noah’s flood story was more compelling than Gilgamesh’s, and today’s fundamentalists aren’t going to switch churches to find a better account of the fossil record.
Far more than explanation, the appeal of religion lies in identity and orientation: Who am I? Who are my people? Why is my life important, and what am I supposed to be doing with it? The rapid change in the modern era has only increased the importance of those perennial questions and raised the value of answers that feel solid and steady.”