A New Exodus Out of the American Church (by Jeff Cook)

Few books have disturbed me as much as Josh Packard’s Church Refugees: Sociologists Reveal Why People are Done with Church but not with Their Faith. Many of us have become familiar with the “Nones” (those who select “none” when asked their religious afflation) and their increase over the past 20 years. Packard describes a different, trending [Read More…]

Christians Influencing Society

Who did what? is one of those questions that social historians love to consider. For instance, who started hospitals? who started education? who focused on civil rights? who advocated for the education of women equal to men? Cases have been made for a variety of social goods as the result of Christians, Christian theology and [Read More…]

The Pope and The Woman: The Bad and The Good

From Thomas Reese, who details five problems and five opportunities — go to the link for the full article: The Bad. When it comes to women, Pope Francis has five strikes against him, but he also has some good points. First strike: He is male. Second, he is celibate. Pardon the stereotyping, but the third [Read More…]

Christianity’s Weirdness (by Patrick Mitchel)

By Patrick Mitchel: At particular times in the history of the church, ‘disturbers’ have emerged, protesting against the cultural captivity of the church. They have rightly seen that authentic Christianity should never be domesticated and made ‘safe’. Maybe you can think of some ‘disturbers’. A couple that come to mind are: Albert Schweitzer’s apocalyptic Jesus [Read More…]

South Carolina Anglicans

Source: A conservative breakaway Anglican diocese in the US has won a court battle to keep more than $500 million worth of church property. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has no claim on the property of the Diocese of South Carolina or its churches, according to Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein. She wrote in her decision [Read More…]

Overcoming Juvenilization in the Church

Sometime back I posted a review of Thomas Bergler’s The Juvenilization of American Christianity, and opined that it was short on proposals — we now have his proposals in From Here to Maturity: Overcoming the Juvenilization of American Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014). Image Let’s get this conversation going again by recalling what Bergler means by juvenilization: Beginning [Read More…]

Church Workers Need a New Target [other than numbers] (by Jeff Cook)

Church Workers Need a New Target Life requires replication. If something does not replicate, its kind will not continue on—just ask that Shaker you know. A 1000 person church is impressive. A church of 100 folks that over the course of 40 years empowers and sends out 12 pastors is more impressive. How do I [Read More…]

The Salt of the Earth (RJS)

The next section of Philip Yancey’s new book Vanishing Grace poses the question “is it really good news?” … a question that can be answered in many different ways. Does faith matter? Does it affect the way we live in any meaningful way? Even if faith has a positive affect on life, is it true? [Read More…]

Good News – God Cannot Be Contained (RJS)

Many today try to put religion in its place, controlled and contained, tolerated as long as it doesn’t impinge on fact or science. (Image source) Stephen Jay Gould gave as the first commandment of NOMA “Thou shalt not mix magisteria by claiming that God directly ordains important events in the history of nature by special [Read More…]

The Eight Themes of Liberation Theology

What is liberation theology? It is fair to follow that up with What kind of liberation theology? It is also fair to ask When was liberation theology? Let’s begin with this: modernity created an all-encompassing narrative rooted in social and economic realities that buttressed those in power with structures and ideologies that kept power in [Read More…]