A few years ago, I read a fascinating and somewhat controversial book called The Churching of America, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark. In it the authors examined and brought to light the history of religion in America by arguing it works as a free market economy, an economy in which there are winners and losers. The authors were not pastors or theologians, but professors of sociology and they tackled the issue as sociologists. They do not speak much about orthodoxy or heterodoxy or faithful confessions but use the language of economics.

You know the scene. It is the end of the date. Boy and girl, face to face, nervously rocking back and forth, inching closer, fumbling about, both wanting to, but neither one quite bold enough to make the final move for the first kiss. Someone needs to be courageous and pucker up or it is not gonna’ happen. And if they both start inching backwards, playing coy, expecting the other person to make the move, the likelihood of a first kiss, shrinks away even faster.