Signs of the Apocalypse

Just in time for the meat of college and pro football seasons, a new book is out entitled Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of the Apocalypse by Marcia Mount Shoop. Readers of Sports Illustrated will recognize the “signs of the apocalypse” part of the title as a take-off on a weekly graphic that reports [Read More…]

Young Evangelicals and the “Nones”: Jumping Ship

I recently came across a fascinating graph in some research I was doing for a presentation on science and evangelical Christianity. The graph, which maps out Pew Research data on the decline of young evangelicals (ages 18-29) and the rise of the “nones” in that same age group. For anyone–possibly living underground–who might not know [Read More…]

Churching Alone

In his important 2001 work, Bowling Alone, sociologist Robert Putnam illuminated a significant, but detrimental, development in American culture: an disconnection of people from each other and a loss of “social capital” that resulted from our estrangement from other people–our solitude–in the midst of a busy, materialistic, pragmatic culture. The data he amassed showed that [Read More…]

Calling For Public Theology (A Brief Convocation Address)

Below is a brief convocation address I delivered recently at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, which I am proud to call my new employer. I gave the address a few weeks ago, along with three other new faculty at UTS (Matthew Johnson, Thorsten Moritz, and Samuel Subramanian). It was a dynamic event, reflecting [Read More…]

Adam and Science: A Possible Compromise

Today’s guest post comes from Micah Carpenter, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. One of the most significant issues regarding the intersection of science and theology is the historicity of Adam and Eve.  Science tells us that homo sapiens emerged as a distinct species some [Read More…]

Don’t Ask How to Grow Your Church

As an academic theologian, I don’t read a lot of church leadership books. So I was glad to join with Patheos folks in a discussion of Michael Foss’ Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context. I wondered how an established, working pastor (St. Mark Lutheran Church in West Des Moines) deals with “changing [Read More…]

Fear Not

Today’s guest post comes from Matt Ulven, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. Speaking for myself I feel overwhelmed by the challenges that confront the understanding of our faith related to human origins.  If evolution is true, then how should we understand the beginning of [Read More…]

How I Learned to Find Beauty in Creation

Today’s guest post comes from Rocky Muñoz, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. I used to be a young earth creationist.  And when I say that what I mean is that I was that kid who tried to debate my biology teacher in class over [Read More…]

Interpretation and Humility

Today’s guest post comes from Aaron DeMaster, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. As a Christian society we are currently dealing with a cultural tension between science and scripture. Science makes discoveries on nature that sometimes do not match the literal understandings and interpretations of [Read More…]

The Devil’s in the Application

Today’s guest post comes from Daniel Reeves, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. Both scientists and theologians pursue knowledge with passion. Sharing what is discovered in convincing ways is also common for each. In Isaiah 55 we are reminded that God’s thoughts and ways are [Read More…]

“Starved for Justice”: The Beatitudes, Ferguson, and Us

If you’re like me, you grew up hearing in Sunday School about the “poor in Spirit” in Matthew. These were the humble, the meek, the spiritually thirsty. And if you and I would just be humble and meek (and we can all do that, whether poor or rich, white or black, educated or uneducated), we [Read More…]

Ferocious Originality

Today’s guest post comes from Eric Samuel Timm, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. Have you ever seen the divided come together to make something beautiful? Think Pie. American Apple Pie to be really specific. The ingredients in a pie, divided in the corners of [Read More…]