which they are encouraged to discovernand promote their own feelings andnwishes — in some manuals and seminarsnalmost as if this were an ideal orngoal in life.”nHaven Bradford Gow is the WilburnFoundation literary fellow and lives innArlington Heights, Illinois.nPrayer by Numbersnby Bryce ChristensennThe Future of Religion: Secularization,nRevival, and Cult Formationnby Rodney Stark andnWilliam Sims Bainbridge, Berkeley:nUniversity of California Press.nWhen sociologists look at religion, whatndo they see? Inevitably, they see statisticalnclusters of churchgoers sortednthrough ecclesiastical, geographic, andndemographic grids. People who want tonassess contemporary social trends innAmerican religion would do well tonconsult this new volume by RodneynStark and William Sims Bainbridge. Innimpressive detail. Stark and Bainbridgendocument how the ongoing decline ofnAmerica’s “main-line” denominationsnis fueling the growth of militant sectsnand novel cults. The authors find “annendless cycle” in which “faith is revivednand new faiths born to take the places ofnthose withered denominations that lostntheir sense of the supernatural.nThrough secularization, churches reducentheir tension with the surroundingnsociocultural environment, openingnfields for sects and cults to grow and, innturn, themselves to be transformed.”nYet even after acknowledging thengeneral validity of Stark and Bainbridge’snpattern, even after noting thenaccuracy of the specific figures givennfor, say, the declining Methodists or thenascendant Assemblies of God, manynreaders will still wonder if overweeningnfaith in sociology is not itself symptomaticnof the decline of faith. It was thatnpassionate Christian Soren Kierkegaardnwho taught us that “a crowd is untruth.”nAs students of crowds, sociologistsnhave not proved Kierkegaardnwrong, nor have their techniquesnbrought us closer to God. When thensolitary prophet descends from thenmountain, his message rarely matchesnthe jottings of the sociologists whonstayed behind to survey the people innthe valley. If Methodist and Episcopalnministers spent more time in prayer andnscripture study and less time consultingnwith sociologists, fewer of their formernparishioners would now call themselvesnLutherans, Baptists, and Mormons, andnfewer still would be experimenting withnthe latest Asian cult.nBryce Christensen is the editor ofnThe Family in America.nSurvivingnCollege 101nby Les Csorba IIInFirst Principles: A Primer of Ideasnfor the College-Bound Student bynHugh Hewitt, Chicago: RegnerynGateway.nHugh Hewitt’s First Principles is an125-page manual on how to handlenthe cacophony of illiberal thought thatnflourishes in our universities.nConsider the experience of onenprominent victim. Amy Carter. Thenfreckle-faced little girl who once stoodnat the knee of the President of thenUnited States has become a selfdescribedn”feminist-socialist” in thenranks of the America-hating campusnleft. Amy used to worry about nuclearnwar, but someone at Brown Universityntold her that the CIA is the imminentndanger.nHow could it happen? Jimmy andnRosalynn certainly bear blame. But thenAmerican academy, it seems, must alsonaccept responsibility for how Amy Carternis turning out. After Amy travelednnorth to Brown, she decided that shenwas not going to become a scholar, butnan activist. “Graduation is not importantnto me,” she announced proudly.nSo at Brown, where students not toonlong ago voted to urge the university tonstore cyanide pills in the event of annuclear war. Amy was placed on probationnfor disrupting a board of trusteesnmeeting. At the University of Massachusetts,nAmherst, Amy preventednother students from signing up withnthe dreaded CIA.nHewitt’s First Principles challengesnthe monopoly of liberal political, eco­nnnnomic, and cultural thought by providingnshort, biting chapters on relevantncampus concerns such as money, government,ncommunism, defense, poverty,nrace, and God.nTo incoming freshmen, Hewittnwrites:n[Y]our mind is about to comenunder assault. Between now andnyour graduating from collegenyou will listen to hundreds ofnvoices—the voices of students,nprofessors, and academicnadvisors. Further input willncome from books, periodicals,nand news reports. All of thesenvoices will share a common aim:nTo influence your way ofnthinking. If even one of themntells you this, I will be surprised.nProfessors teach for money, butnof the many I have known, allnhave also taken up teaching innthe hope of attracting adherentsnto their views.nHerein lies the beginning of the book’sninstruction, which assists the incomingnfreshman in discerning the motivationsnof certain ideologues. It may help themnto question authority. Hewitt recountsnthe time as a graduate student henfinally concluded that one of his politicsnsection leaders was a smooth Marxistnwho didn’t announce his particularnagenda.nHidden agendas are a part ofneveryday life … so roundaboutnthe seller comes, feeding younthis morsel and this bit and thisnpiece. Eventually you will havenswallowed the whole thing. Younmay not be able to digest it andnyou may toss it back. But it willnhave had the chance to takenhold. Vendors of ideas neednnothing more than that chance.nNoted Marxist vendors Bertell Oilmannand Saul Landau are such shrewd salesmen.nLandau, a senior fellow at thenInstitute for Policy Studies, once wrotena friend in Cuba: “I’ve come to dedicatenmyself to making propaganda fornAmerican socialism.” Oilman, whonteaches at New York University, hasnbecome known for his proud claim thatn”a correct understanding of Marxismn(or any body of scientific truth) leadsnautomatically to its acceptance.” Innother words. Oilman tells his students.nDECEMBER 1988141n