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Episode 487: Why Gen Z is “Unbundling” Faith with Josh Packard

Updated: Dec 16, 2021


Everyone seems to be talking about “deconstructing” faith, but researcher Josh Packard says it’s better to describe young people as “unbundling” faith. He joins Skye for a conversation about Springtide Research Institute’s new report on the State of Religion and Young People, and why Gen Z has such a negative perception of the church and such an inflated view of themselves.


Also this week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. With some pro-life activists ecstatic, and pro-choice activists apoplectic, the Holy Post crew discusses what a post-Roe country could look like, how the pro-life movement could evolve, and what lessons we can learn from the era of Prohibition. Plus, the word “sorcery” was the fastest-growing search term on Bible Gateway in 2021. Should it have been “asininity”?


News Segment

0:00 - Intro

48:31 - Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Abide: http://abide.co/holypost


Interview with Josh Packard Springtide Research Institute report: https://www.springtideresearch.org/research/the-state-of-religion-2021

49:36 - Intro 51:12 - Major findings from report 55:06 - Implications of unbundling 1:05:55 - Values gap 1:18:41 - Impact of religious communities on flourishing Other resources: www.wsj.com/articles/young-people-say-disconnect-keeps-them-from-church-11635163200






16 Comments


Stephanie Wheatley
Stephanie Wheatley
Dec 30, 2021

So, I'd like to take the Southern Baptist position on abortion and it's appalling evolution a step further. After Roe was handed down, the Baptist Press, which was--at the time--the flagship news publication for the SBC, hailed the ruling as a victory of religious liberty: if your faith principles ruled out abortion, no one is forcing you to get one, but if your faith principles either don't rule it out or require it (more later), then you are no longer restricted from getting one. I think the First Amendment ramifications of abortion are often overlooked, but very noteworthy--especially for me, a Baptist with a strong belief in the idea of religious liberty for EVERYONE. To wit....


In the Halakha (Jewish…

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Jeff Hebert
Jeff Hebert
Dec 24, 2021

I’ve been thinking as I listen that conservatives in general, and Trump supporters in particular, are represented as almost a caricature of what they truly are. However I appreciate that in this episode the distinction was made clear between ending all social programs and encouraging the church to fill those needs (which is more effective, IMHO). My point, however, is that there are many thoughtful Trump supporters, and it would be great to hear a discussion on your podcast that includes one.

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Re mandating paid family leave: Give the government power over taxpayer $, and what happens? Instead of law, perhaps encourage/teach ppl to work together to persuade employers, and have gov't lighten tax burden (!) so employers can structure employee compensation according to what works for each company. Tho I suppose there may need to be a mandate for the largest, most powerful companies...but winning hearts is better than winning political battles

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Regarding Gen Z's lack of interest in the church:

I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind this podcast, but I think there is a perspective that you need to consider. I don't know about all demagraphics, but for a lot of Native people we see the church's fruit and are horrified. So far over 7,000 native children have been found buried on the grounds of "schools" that were run mostly by churches of nearly every denomination. The last of those schools didn't shut down until I was a teenager. The survivors are our grandparents. The abusers are still alive and free and working for the churches.

I grew up in church in myself. My family moved a lot, so I went to…

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James Lamborn
James Lamborn
Dec 17, 2021

I wonder how much of this is about political compromise. In a healthy democracy it would make sense to stake out the "extreme" positions, and then have the ability to give ground and compromise with a moderate solution. Both sides can then claim a victory, and point to what they gained, while "lamenting" what they couldn't achieve. Something changed in the past 20 years or so, which has resulted in these "extreme" positions becoming hills to die on and compromise being viewed as apostasy as the "primary voters" have seized the ideological control of the parties. This then trickles out into the voters as hardened positions that cannot be compromised.

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