Footnote 2 Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992), pp. 18, 84, 150, 169, 238; cf. pp. 249-55.
“as denominations have modernized their doctrines and embraced temporal values, they have gone into decline . . . the message becomes more worldly, and is held with less certainty as religion becomes the focus of scholarly critique and attention . . . [the decline starts when they] begin to lift restrictions on behavior and to soften doctrines that had served to set the sect apart from its social environment . . . as the general affluence and social standing of a group rises, otherworldliness — as expressed through tension with the environment — becomes perceived as increasingly costly . . . religious organizations are stronger to the degree that they impose significant costs in terms of sacrifice and even stigma upon their members.”2