Is the problem with American Christianity its love affair with the suburbs?

Amid all the debate over the decline of the mainline and realignment in American Christianity, its worth pausing a moment and pondering Fred Clark’s question:

The suburbanization of American Christianity has had a huge impact on institutional and denominational structures. Automobile-shaped development has produced an automobile-shaped ecclesiology. The car has abolished the possibility of the parish. And that, in turn, has helped to redefine “neighbor” as a matter of preference more than of proximity — as optional rather than obligatory. That redefinition is rather significant, since “Who is my neighbor?” is kind of an important question for Christians.

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