Does the Church Have a Future?

Not long ago, a producer at Day1 asked about my brand new book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. “Does the Church have a future?” he asked.  And the Day1 folks pointed a camera at me and caught this impromptu reflection. I hope you find it encouraging.  And I hope you’ll pick up my new book and explore the ending of conventional religion and the possibilities for a new Great Awakening. Read more

War on Religion? President Obama, Catholics, and Everybody Else

It’s war. At least according to some, President Obama has declared a war on religion.  This is the latest attack designed to make the President look like an infidel. In the last four years, the President’s opponents have branded him: 1) a liberal Christian; 2) a follower of liberation theology; 3) a secret Muslim; and now, 4) an anti-Christian bigot determined to destroy churches and freedom of religion. The “war on religion” is interwoven, somewhat subtly in most cases, with… Read more

Black Friday: A Morality Tale

This Black Friday, I expect that some religion commentators will write their yearly screed on the immorality of consumerism decrying the shopping frenzy gripping the nation on the day after Thanksgiving. But I am not going to join that chorus. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t love consumerism or the outburst of materialism that accompanies American Christmas celebrations. It is, however, tediously easy for people who write columns, ministers who preach sermons, or those who are generally comfortable with their jobs… Read more

Putting the Protest Back in Protestant

This weekend, as many celebrate Halloween, some Christians will remember another holiday—one that marks the Protestant Reformation.  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church’s theology of salvation and sacraments, thus initiating the religious movement that became known as Protestantism.  On the Sunday before October 31, Lutherans (and some Presbyterians and Congregationalists) recall these events in worship. Although the United States was a solid majority Protestant nation for most of its history, Protestantism has fallen on hard… Read more

Death Penalty and the American Soul

From the “Christian Nation?” Department: The death penalty has been abolished by 106 nations, 30 countries since 1990. Amnesty International reports that over 1/2 world’s nations have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. The United States, China, the Congo and Iran are the most prolific executioners in the world. I do not understand how the United States, especially given that so many of our fellow citizens continue to insist that this is a “Christian” country, can be… Read more

Spiritual But Not Religious: Listening To Their Absence

Over the past few weeks, a debate has been roiling on the web about people who claim to be “spiritual but not religious,” a.k.a., “SBNR.” Kicked off by the Rev. Lillian Daniel (who is, in full disclosure, a friend whom I admire), a pastor in the mostly-liberal United Church of Christ, who confessed in a Christian Century column that SBNR “bored” her and expressed a preference for the more robust forms of faith found in traditional religions, an argument is… Read more

9/11: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

For weeks now, news programs, radio commentators, and blogs have encouraged people to share their memories about 9/11.  Some of it has been very moving, some trite, and no small amount divisive.  But all of it has reminded me of one thing: words often fail to express what is beyond emotional comprehension.  As poet Ardrienne Rich writes, “Tonight I think/no poetry/will serve.” More than anything, on this anniversary, I wish to be silent. A few may protest saying that it… Read more

Welcome to my Patheos blog!

Welcome to my new blog. I plan to start posting here the week of July 18. For now, you can sign up for my RSS feed or subscribe by email (both are to the right). Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to continuing the conversation soon! Diana Read more