Forward Thinking: Civic Responsibility Roundup

How do we balance individual and community? To whom do we owe responsibility - our local community, our nation, or all of humanity?Two weeks ago I announced Forward Thinking, a values development project created in collaboration with Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers, and introduced the first prompt. Dan is introducing our next prompt today (head on over to see it!), and in this post I will pull together some themes from the various responses to round off the one I introduced two weeks ago: … [Read more...]

The Problem with Big Tent Atheism

I rarely comment here on the goings on in the atheist community. I'm torn, really. On the one hand, a big part of me wants to go to the conferences everyone talks about, and I do occasionally participate in events with local atheist groups. On the other hand, when I watch things like elevatorgate, or the brouhaha over whether sexual harassment policies are even necessary at conferences, well, it's a bit of a turn off. The thing is, atheism doesn't have a catechism or a statement of faith or a lis … [Read more...]

Missing My Megachurch

I have a confession to make. I miss the evangelical megachurch I grew up attending. I don't miss the beliefs or the sermons, of course. I'm not talking about missing doctrine or anything like that. I'm talking about missing the community a megachurch provides, and the community it offered me and my family growing up. All that was necessary to gain access to the community the megachurch had to offer was sharing its evangelical beliefs. Once you were in the "community of faith," you entered a very … [Read more...]

In Group, Out Group

In many, many ways, growing up as an evangelical was great. I was surrounded by friends who shared my views, and we had good times together. Sermons were generally interesting, the worship music was uplifting, and we were firmly positioned within a dynamic evangelical culture. There was a real sense of community, purpose, and love.What I didn't realize while growing up was that this community had carefully policed boundaries. I was a bit naive, I think, when during my college years I started … [Read more...]