After years of hearing that the main reason conservative churches were growing faster than more liberal churches was their emphasis on traditional teachings, a new study reported in Christian Century, 10/4/2005, Vol. 122 Issue 20, and picked up by ABP indicates that conservative church growth is more biological than theological. According to the article
Higher fertility and better retention thus account for the conservative denominations' rising share of the Protestant population and the corresponding decline in the proportion of Protestants who belong to mainline denominations. The various popular "culture wars" and "strictness" theories which have been used to explain the decline of the mainline are irrelevant. Mainline denominations' support for homosexuality and abortion and modernist interpretations of scripture do not account for the change. The raw power of demography does a much better job.