Some might see it as obvious; others, as misguided optimism. But with every society looking to reduce crime, the notion that religion can be an antidote to such behavior is intriguing. That’s the premise behind More God, Less Crime, the latest book from Dr. Byron Johnson, distinguished professor of the social sciences and director of Baylor’s Institute for the Studies of Religion (ISR).
Johnson points to evidence that increased religious activity can not only reduce crime, but actually increase what he calls prosocial behavior — basically, being a good citizen. Writing in a lay-friendly format, More God, Less Crime pulls together research from a wide variety of sources to make his case for how the “faith factor” can help faith-based groups more effectively help the American criminal justice system.
You may have already read about the book, thanks to reviews from publications such as Christianity Today and the Wall Street Journal, or heard Johnson interviewed on Chuck Colson’s “Breakpoint” or “The Michael Medved Show.” As I write this, the book is Amazon’s No. 25 bestseller in the area of sociology and No. 40 in criminology.
Sic ’em, Dr. Johnson!