Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism
and the Religion Singularity

Jeshua B. Branch

Branch earned his Ph.D. in theology and apologetics from Liberty University. He is passionate about inspiring Christians to live faithfully on mission for Jesus Christ in a postmodern world. He lives in Williamsburg, VA and is married to his college sweetheart, Megan. Together, they have 3 daughters: Elena, Elora, and Eliza.


Internet Archive

*Data sourced from Dimensions, an inter-linked research information system provided by Digital Science.


Termed the “religion singularity” by Kenneth Howard, the habitual fragmentation of institutional Christianity has led to the exponential growth in denominations and worship centers despite the annual growth rate of new believers remaining the same. Howard has concluded that denominations are unlikely to survive this crisis, although worship centers are much more likely to survive if they are willing to be flexible. The purpose of this article is to identify the epistemic trends that have led to the destabilization of institutional Christianity over the last century, namely the shifting worldview from modernity to postmodernity, and how this shift has influenced the rise of nondenominational house church attendance in American Christianity.


Keywords: Foundationalism, Institutional Christianity, Nondenominational Churches,

Religion Singularity, Postmodernity

Share This Article
  • 2
Article Information:

Author: Jeshua B. Branch

Title: "Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism and the Religion Singularity"

Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry

Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 1

Date: Spring 2019

Pages: 1-9


If you see a problem with this webpage, find some of the links are not working, or are unable to properly view the article, please contact SHERM immediately.

Citation Examples:


(footnote) Jeshua B. Branch, “Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism and the Religion Singularity,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 1-9,

(bibliography) Branch, Jeshua B. “Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism and the Religion Singularity,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 1-9.


Branch, Jeshua B. “Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism and the Religion Singularity.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 2019,, pp. 1-9.


Branch, J. B. (2019). Grenz and Franke’s Post-Foundationalism and the Religion Singularity. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(1), 1-9. Retrieved from

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.0 License. Information on obtaining permissions beyond the scope of this license is available at SHERM Journal Permissions.


Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991.

Carter, Joe. “Factchecker: Are All Christian Denominations in Decline?” The Gospel Coalition. March 17, 2015.

Clawson, Michael, and April Stace, eds. Crossing Boundaries, Redefining Faith: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On the Emerging Church Movement. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2016.

de Lange, M. C. “Reflections on Methodology and Interdisciplinarity in the Postmodern Dialogue between Theology and the Natural Sciences.” Acta Theologica 27, no. 2 (2007): 44‒62.

Deist, Ferdinand. “Post-Modernism and the Use of Scripture in Theological Argument: Footnotes to the Apartheid Theology Debate.” Neotestamentica 28, no. 3 (1994): 253‒63.

Finke, Roger, and Rodney Stark. The Churching of America, 1776–2005: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

Franke, John R. The Character of Theology: An Introduction to Its Nature, Task, and Purpose. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

Gaebelein, Frank E. “Evangelicals and Social Concern.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 25, no. 1 (March 1982): 17‒22.

Godfrey, K. F. “Postfoundationalist Rationality and Progress in the Theology of Religious Conversion.” The Asia Journal of Theology 20, no. 1 (April 2006): 142‒54.

Grenz, Stanley J., and John R. Franke. Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

Gushee, David P., and Justin Phillips. “Moral Formation and the Evangelical Voter: A Report from the Red States.” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 26, no. 2 (2006): 23‒60.

Haskell, David Millard, Kevin N. Flatt, and Stephanie Burgoyne. “Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy.” Review of Religious Research 58, no. 4 (2016): 515‒41.

Hauerwas, Stanley, Nancey C. Murphy, and Mark Nation, eds. Theology Without Foundations: Religious Practice and the Future of Theological Truth. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1994.

Henriksen, Jan-Olav. “Researching Theological Normativity: Some Critical and Constructive Suggestions.” Studia Theologica 60, no. 2 (2006): 207‒20.

Howard, Kenneth W. “The Religion Singularity: A Demographic Crisis Destabilizing and Transforming Institutional Christianity.” International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 7, no. 2 (2017): 77‒93.

Iannaccone, Laurence R. “Why Strict Churches Are Strong.” American Journal of Sociology 99, no. 5 (1994): 1180‒1211.

Medley, Mark S. “Catholics, Baptists, and the Normativity of Tradition: A Review Essay.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 28, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 119‒29.

Murphy, Nancey C. Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy Set the Theological Agenda. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996.

Payne, Jervis David. “A Glimpse into the Missional House Churches of America.” Journal of the American Society for Church Growth 19 (Winter 2008): 87‒98.

Plantinga, Alvin. “Reason and Belief in God.” In Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God, edited by Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff, 16‒93. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.

Presbyterian Church (USA). 2017 Comparative Summaries. Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly, 2017.

Sider, Ronald J. “Evangelicals and Social Justice.” In Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century, edited by Brian C. Stiller et al, 128‒33. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2015.

Slade, Darren M. “Religious Homophily and Biblicism: A Theory of Conservative Church Fragmentation.” The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 9, no. 1 (2019): 13‒28.

Smith, Gregory. America’s Changing Religious Landscape: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, May 12, 2015. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Spencer, Archie J. “Culture, Community and Commitments: Stanley J. Grenz on Theological Method.” Scottish Journal of Theology 57, no. 3 (2004): 338‒60.

Steensland, Brian, and Philip Goff, eds. The New Evangelical Social Engagement. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Stetzer, Ed. “Counting People Who Attend House Churches.” Christianity Today, September 3, 2009.

Thumma, Scott. A Report On the 2010 National Profile of U.S. Nondenominational and Independent Churches. Hartford, CT: Hartford Institute for Religion Research, 2010.

United Church of Christ: A Statistical Profile. Cleveland, OH: UCC, 2018.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Zdero, Rad. “The Apostolic Strategy of House Churches for Mission Today.” Evangelical Missions Quarterly 47, no. 3 (July 2011): 346‒53.

Share This Page