Future of Mainline Protestantism
Solidly established in American society, mainline Protestantism faces a threshold. How will it retool itself for a new century? How will it develop new avenues of ministry and new ways of doing community? How will the growing progressive and emergent movements affect Protestant thought and practice? How will denominational bodies respond to the well-documented "mainline decline?" How will pop culture reflect and be impacted by the changes in mainline Christianity? Patheos invites the visioning of Protestant thinkers in its Future of Religion series.
Contributors include: Sam Alexander, Jim Burklo, Jerry D. Campbell, Philip Clayton, Monica A. Coleman, Kenda Creasy Dean, James Calvin Davis, Bruce G. Epperly, Greg Garrett, Larry M. Goodpaster, Anne Howard, James J. Kang, David LaMotte, Lisa Larges, Alyce McKenzie, Brian McLaren, J. Ryan Parker, Anthony B. Pinn, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Robert John Russell, Josef Sorett, Adam Walker Cleaveland, Peter Wallace, and James K. Wellman Jr.
Once again, the body of Christ, or at least the Mainstream Protestant version of it, is on the cross. At this critical moment, we need to do what Jesus did.
Remarkable creativity is springing out of hundreds of progressive congregations and groups in the U.S. today. It's a theological reformation.
Our Christian past has been rife with breaking God's human family apart. Could the future of Christianity be about bringing it together?
What does "church" look like when you take it out of the box, replant it, and let it grow organically? It's going to stretch and challenge you; it's going to take openness to forms and practices you've never seen before.
I had a dream that all the oppressed people in black churches staged a walkout. They didn't leave because they hated black churches. They left because they loved them.
Youth ministry allows experimentation of what it means to "be church," and that's a hopeful thing for us.
Despite the popularity of the exercise, I am not drawn to write the obituary of mainline Protestantism. To the contrary, I think Protestantism faces an important future of public witness.
A God who does not fully know or determine the future in its actuality is more alive, creative, and active than a God who has chosen the future in its entirety.
The history, practice, and theology of mainline Christianity may in fact be better adapted to life in the 21st century than any of its detractors suggest.
The newly-elected President of The United Methodist Church's Council of Bishops shares his insights on the future of the largest mainline Protestant denomination in America.
At the heart of Progressive Christianity is the same thing I see at the heart of the teaching of Jesus: a commitment to the welfare of all, to a world of "shalom" for all, and therefore advocacy for compassion in public life.
A father and Methodist minister imagines a congratulatory letter to his newly ordained minister daughter, in the year 2050.
One of the central questions mainline Christians will have to wrestle with in coming years is this: Are we willing to embrace discomfort as part of our faith?
While our denominations continue to argue over ordination and marriage equality for LGBT persons, the next generation, those under 35, have already made up their minds.
What will Protestant mainline preaching will be like in twenty years? What kind of sermon will the preacher preach and the worshippers experience?
A new coalition is already happening, as existing organizations and emerging networks discover one another and realize they have independently reached common conclusions.
Independent Christian filmmaking is poised to take off in the 21st century. But will the Progressive Christian voice be represented?
Statistics regarding African American religiosity don't negate a central reality: Black churches in the 21st century face a life-or-death dilemma.
Recent Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Bruce Reyes-Chow reflects on the challenges and opportunities facing his denomination, and the future of the mainline church.
Mainline Protestants can and should embrace the responsible dialogue with natural science and fulfill our mission of offering a prophetic voice in contemporary scientific culture.
The prevalence of post-race talk is not evidence that racism is no more. But it does signal a change that black institutions, including churches, must address.
Presbymergent, and other groups like them, consists of people who choose to stay on the inside to bring about creative, emergent expressions of an historic faith for various contemporary contexts.
The more I ponder the future of the mainline Protestant church, the more confused I get. And the more hopeful.
American Protestantism is an ever-changing, multi-faceted, and multi-colored quilt, and the once mighty Protestant Mainline is now a shadow of itself.