Bradley Wright Exhorts Empirical Accuracy
Sociologist claims Christians perpetuate myths about themselves
NEW YORK, May 10, 2011—As a Christian sociologist and myth-buster, Dr. Bradley Wright wonders, “Is Christianity well-served by inaccuracy?” That is why the myths he targets are not myths about the Christian faith perpetrated by secular society. He targets myths about Christians that Christians themselves perpetuate.
Wright spoke to students at The King’s College on April 29 as part of the College’s Distinguished Visitors Series.
Wright is a tenured professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. He told students, however, that he did not write much about religion before he achieved tenure because of the tremendous pressure against Evangelicals in academia.
Wright is the author of two books. In Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told, he challenges common statistical assumptions made popular by Christian authors. For example, he challenges the common belief that the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians is equal. In fact, he said, divorce rates decrease dramatically with higher instances of church attendance. Wright believes the use of inaccurate statistics is dangerous because inaccuracy “makes it difficult for Christians to prioritize problems.” Inaccurate statistics are also discouraging, he said, asking, “Why would you want to give your life to a faith that doesn’t work?”
Wright’s second book, Upside: Surprising Good News about the State of our World, attempts to address the pessimism that many Christians feel toward the future. He believes that Christian gloom toward the future is unfounded and said that although this generation has its problems, “world hunger is decreasing, while at the same time awareness of world hunger is increasing.” Dr. Wright also pointed to higher life expectancy rates as an indicator of life improving.
Wright encourages Christians to think more positively about the future and to refrain from using faulty statistics. His message of hope is a bright light to Christians generally and, in particular, to students at King’s who desire to see their world become a place more in line with God’s plan for the world.
The King’s College is located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
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