John Lennox explains why he thinks the secularisation thesis didn’t work out.
Communism never completely crushed belief in God, just as no other ideology has ever overcome belief in God. And I believe that is true because when people come to trust Christ and are genuine, they are not proceeding simply unaided under their own steam. And God gives them, sometimes, absolutely remarkable stickability, endurance – even under the heaviest of persecution.
And it’s often been said that martyrdom, even, is the seed of the church – that people spring up. And it’s because, I believe, that there’s something deep within us that resonates with the Christian faith and says, there must be something more and this is it. And therefore we have some very heroic stories from all through history of people enduring, and spreading the faith.
Against that, though, is the secularisation thesis, and the idea was, following the Enlightenment, secularism will grow and God will gradually disappear. That’s been partly true in the West, but those that erected the secularisation thesis have now given it up because it simply isn’t true. There are parts of the world in which the Christian faith is growing very rapidly indeed. Which is another evidence to me – it’s not conclusive proof, but it’s an evidence – that that’s exactly what you’d expect if it is true.