Re-Engaging the De-Churched: Four Strategies

In their book Church Refugees, Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope sketch four reasons why some active Christians become the Dones: They wanted community.. .and got judgment. They wanted to affect the life of the church.. .and got bureaucracy. They wanted conversation.. .and got doctrine. They wanted meaningful engagement with the world… and got moral prescription. Their [Read More...]

Micro vs. Macro Ethics and Church Refugees

When I was in college I heard John Stott speak at Calvin Theological Seminary. During his talk he spoke about the distinction between some Christians fussing about “micro” ethics while ignoring “macro” ethics, and he talked about movie going and drinking a beer vs. justice and poverty and economic exploitation. Jesus, as you know, talked [Read More...]

The Problem(s) with the “Institutional” Church

No matter how many define it or (don’t define it) and no matter how many are using the expression, lots gets packaged into a tight and hot bundle when someone critiques the “institutional” church. Here’s “Daniel”: Daniel: I see the institution, the hierarchy, the bureaucracy as crippling the body of Christ. I see it as [Read More...]

Community without Judgment(alism)

Church refugees — those active former church folks — are sometimes called the Dones. They are done with church but not with their faith, not with Christianity, not with God, and not with Jesus. They are Done with church (as they have experienced it). Why? The number one reason traced and mapped by Josh Packard [Read More...]

Ecclesiaphobia

In a few of his many writings Roger Scruton wags his finger at the deconstructionists, and he’s concerned especially with Foucault and Rorty and in some measure Derrida. He calls the concern oikophobia. (See his A Political Philosophy or The Need for Nations.) Oikophobia is a Greek term, composed of house/household and fear, and the term is thus used to describe [Read More...]

A Confessing Church (by Jonathan Storment)

As readers of this blog know, Jonathan Storment and his buddies have a slot on Wednesdays. This week I’m honored that Jonathan has chosen to do some reflections on A Fellowship of Differents. One of the top five books over the past few years is, hands down, Scot McKnight’s A Fellowship of Differents.  It is [Read More...]

Jeff Cook Asks Josh Packard 10 Questions

Dr. Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope unveil in their book Church Refugees what many have suspected for years: the most committed church attenders have begun leaving. After a year of qualitative research, Packard and Hope have produced a detailed study of “the Dones”, those who have self-selected out of church life. Below are some follow up questions [Read More...]

Been Played?

John Blake: If a pastor or church leader has ever told you that the Bible commands Christians to tithe or give 10% of their income; hit you up for multiple offerings during one service; made you march up front to give; asked you to donate to a mysterious “building fund” or give a “first-fruit” offering; [Read More...]

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...]

Scribe or Prophet?

Marilynne Robinson’s gift must be the ability to think about the life of a pastor though she is neither a pastor nor the daughter of a pastor. But somehow she gets to the heart of so much of what pastoring is in her deft conversations between Ames and Boughton, especially in Gilead (p. 142 below [image]). This [Read More...]


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