By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Is Christ dead?
A Few Frank Words 3-27-24
FR mug
Francis Remkiewicz

The Pew Research Center published some noteworthy statistics for us Christians. Here is what the Pew Center found. Thirty percent of the American population are not affiliated with any religion. That is up six percent from 2015 and 10 percent higher than 2010. “Christians continue to make up a majority of the U.S. populace, but their share of the adult population is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011. In addition, the share of U.S. adults who say they pray on a daily basis has been trending downward, as has the share who say religion is “very important” in their lives.” (Pew Research,

In December (2023) the Atlantic magazine re-published a story entitled “American Christianity Is Due for A Revival?” In the article a Calvinist theologian, Timithy Keller explains how Christian values and morals in our society have been replaced with a secular version. Keller talks of Christianity dying a slow and painful death. He does say that the death of Christianity is not assured and in fact can be reversed.

However, before we even get to discussing in detail the death of Christianity it would be good to review the April 8, 1966 edition of Time Magazine. The Cover of Time Magazine was completely black. On that black background, red lettering simply asked, “Is God Dead?”. For those who were not alive at that time or have forgotten, there was popular debate over whether “God is dead” which originated with German Philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche. In fact, “God is dead” was a metaphor. “Nietzsche was not celebrating the death of God; rather, he was warning of the potential consequences of a society without a firm moral foundation. He feared that the loss of traditional religious values could lead to nihilism, a state where life is perceived as devoid of intrinsic meaning or value. The 1960’s rolled around with a “new” radical theology propounded by such theologians as William Hamilton, Gabriel Vahanian, and Paul van Buren.”

“In an essay called Thursday’s Child, William Hamilton of Colgate Rochester argues that the theologian today has neither faith nor hope; only love is left to him. Perhaps the most ethics-minded of these thinkers, Hamilton, 41, concludes that awareness of God’s death summons man all the more to follow Jesus as the exemplar and paradigm of conduct— which, for today, means total commitment to Christian love.

Readers, let it be known far and wide that God is not dead. God cannot be dead. Here is why. We cannot have Jesus Christ without God the Father. God and humankind are tied together through creation and the fall of humankind, original sin, or whatever you call it. Being both God and man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ’s mission is to stand in our stead so that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the atonement for all of humanity and for all our sins. Christ restored the right relationship between us and God. It is true, that which Christ taught us provides the spiritual foundation for how we ought to act in this secular world. That is the second great commandment Christ taught us. What these theologians want us to believe ignores the first great commandment Christ taught us, “love God with all your soul, all your mind and all your heart”.

The fact of the matter is that God was not dead in the 19th century, nor in the 20th century and certainly not in the 21st century. In fact, the two great commandments that Christ taught us are the only constants necessary. We ought to remain in a right relationship with our God and with our neighbor.

Christian values and morals have not been “replaced” by secular morals and value. If you have, believe, or practice those values Christians attribute to the second great commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself” but ignore the command, “Love God with all your mind and all your heart and all your soul” and maintain that you are still spiritual you are just wrong. You are simply prideful as C. S. Lewis states.

If you say that Christ never existed, then you would be rejecting historical facts. If you think that Christ is some great moral teacher but not God, read on, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange, or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity). Christianity is not dead or even dying. Christianity is no more dependent on the numbers that believe or not any more than the number of people who believe or not that the earth is flat.


Francis (Frank) Remkiewicz is an area resident and contributes a monthly column focused primarily on faith and religion. He can be reached at Opinions expressed are those of the author.