The end of American Protestantism?

Theologian Stanley Hauerwas has written a devastating critique of America and American Protestantism that, agree with it or not, is worth thinking about.  He argues that American Protestantism, which has been so influential in American culture, is fading away because of its cultural conformity.  (He includes a great line from Bonhoeffer, that America has a Protestantism without the Reformation.)  You should read the whole thing, but I’ll post an excerpt that deals with what he says is the American conception of freedom and its connection to divorce and abortion. [Read more…]

The media’s “delicious story”

According to Rem Rieder, writing in USA Today, the media constructed a story about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin that captured the public’s imagination but couldn’t stand up in court.  Thus the controversy.  Rieder’s analysis offers a textbook example not just of how media bias works but how the dynamics of press coverage can become uncritical and distorting. [Read more…]

The “Place of Jesus” Lutheran church & the LCMS

As we’ve blogged about earlier, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus has broken ties with its mother church in Sweden over gay marriage and related issues.  Now the 6 million-strong church–one of the fastest growing in the world (and the third largest Lutheran church in the world)–is seeking ties with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Here is a fascinating interview between Rev. Berhanu Ofgaa and Deaconness Pamela Nielsen that tells the story of Mekane Yesus, which means “Place of Jesus,” a name that confesses the real presence of Christ that all Lutherans should start using. [Read more…]

I’m back

Thanks for holding down the blog for me while I was gone.  It looks like you did a good job of keeping things going.  What do y0u need me for?  Since I was bereft of computer, cell phone, newspaper, and television, I have no idea what has gone on the past week.  I look forward to reading your posts and comments to get up to date.  I’ll do that when I have time, and I’ll also proclaim the winning discussions.  How good it was to get away, but the last few days I started to feel the need to be productive.  And my time away (maybe I’ll tell you more about it) has given me more ideas to blog about, so stay tuned.

The Ugliest Churches in the World?

Is your church listed as one of the 35 ugliest churches in the world?  Nicholas G. Hahn, editor at RealClearReligion, has assembled a slide show of what he considers houses of worship that are “bizarre, weird, dumb, and gross. ”  These come from virtually all theological traditions.  Hahn says, “There is something to be said of the effect truly bad architecture has on a worshiper, but that’s for another time.”  We might as well take the time here.  Given that the Word of God can be truly preached in any kind of building, what harm can be done by bad architecture in a church?

For the slideshow go to RealClearReligion – The Ugliest Churches in the World – The Ugliest Churches in the World. [Read more…]

Zimmerman found “not guilty”

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of the African-American youth Trayvon Martin, sparking protests, threats against Zimmerman and the jury, and calls on the government to punish him anyway by filing a civil rights suit against him.  (How, if he is legally innocent and protected from “double jeopardy”?)  Lots of people don’t abide by the findings of our legal system.  Do you?  Don’t we really have to? [Read more…]