A Vibrant Future Church

What would a vibrant mainline church of the future look like? That’s the question we posed to a number of pastors, thought-leaders and bloggers as part of our Future of Mainline Protestantism series here at Patheos. We’ll be posting their responses throughout the coming weeks here at Faith Forward. First up, Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who begins her response with the question: “If the mainline church did the right thing, what would it be in 10 years?” [Read more...]

“The Rich Fool” Lectionary Reflection on Luke 12:13-21

We don’t get a memo teling us when our time is up, but we do have the information about how to use the time we currently have. And it’s not in accumulating more possessions than one person could possibly use in a lifetime while others go without. [Read more...]

Welcome to the Future of Mainline Protestantism!

Mid-way through our Future of Religion summer series here at Patheos, we’ve finally arrived at The Future of Mainline Protestantism! This week, more than 20 thought-leaders, from pastors to scholars to bloggers, offer provocative perspectives on the future of the mainline church. We’ll also feature more conversations on the church here on the blog each day, to further feed the conversation. To get us started, retired Columbia Seminary professor Ben Campbell Johnson shares his dreams for a vibrant mainline Protestantism in the 21st Century… [Read more...]

Enchanted Deconstruction

The word deconstruction tends to conjure up a lot of different responses. Some fear it. Others embrace it, still yet, there is hope in deconstruction. I think though from the variety of responses across the internet some have become disillusioned with the art of deconstruction. But, what if it doesn’t have to lead to disillusionment? [Read more...]

Praying On Our Knees: On Being a Christian Atheist

Praying On Our Knees: Reflections on God after God. John Caputo in his ‘On Religion’ challenges the notion that there is in fact a line between atheism and theism, and in one fell swoop he knocks the New Atheists for a loop as well as religious fundamentalists. Caputo points beyond institutional religions and towards the [Read More...]

Responding to Religious Terrorism

Washington Post’s “On Faith” recently ran a fascinating debate on the question, “What to call terrorists?” I was most struck by how sharply the answers split. A number of the authorities objected stridently to the Obama administration’s efforts to separate Islamic and terrorist. “Call it what it is!” they insisted; “you’re just obscuring the facts and engaging in double-speak.” But others were equally vehement on the other side: “It’s not Islam as such that creates terrorism and terrorists. Theirs are political acts of violence, and we should label them as such. Don’t blame this all on Islam!” Guest blogger Philip Clayton invites us to watch our responses to religious terrorism… [Read more...]

The Nameless Other

“Love one another” – Jesus. When we deem someone as other, we create even more distance between us and that person. Sometimes, and quite unfairly, that person that is the other gets labeled as a sinner. The label itself engenders a picture of someone who is chronically addicted to a destructive way of life. When we create others we create outsiders. [Read more...]

God Will Never Abandon the Church

“It doesn’t matter to me if mainline denominations continue to exist in their present form. Their present form seems destined for death.” Jenny Williams at the Call & Response Blog offers this post on the future of mainline denominations. Consider her insights a preview of what’s to come next week when we present a compelling forum on the Future of Mainline Protestantism here at Patheos. [Read more...]

Praying in a Certain Place: Lectionary Reflection for July 25, Luke 11:1-13

I’ve read this text many,many times. But this time, something hit me at an emotional level that before I’d only grasped intellectually. It may sound quite obvious to you. [Read more...]

Pages: 1 2

Summer Spirituality: Peace is Just a Breath Away

“Spiritual growth often involves ritual and repetition, and nothing is more repetitive than our breathing. In my use of these breath prayers, I often imagine that every breath I take is an opening to God and that I am breathing the same air as Jesus’ first disciples.” Bruce Epperly continues his Summer Spirituality series… [Read more...]

A Calmer Response to the Tea Party

“The newspapers, TV, and religious talk shows are dominated of late by battles between liberals and conservatives. The Tea Party is a lightning rod that raises these disagreements to a fever pitch. Most of us know the hostile words that mainline Protestants are inclined to say about the Tea Party movement. (To be honest, I’ve also experienced this temptation.) So what would a more balanced response look like?” Guest blogger Philip Clayton offers a progressive response to a series of articles defending the Tea Party posted recently at the Patheos Evangelical Portal. [Read more...]

Protests, Consensus and Community at GA

“We cannot force love, but we can ask for it. I pray that this will be God’s gift to those of us who stay in the denomination: that we will be afflicted (even against our own desires) with a holy compassion for those against whom we are currently entrenched.” Guest blogger and seminary student Talitha Phillips reflects on the recent protests at a national Presbyterian gathering in the context of building a relational church. church. [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X