In Praise of Empires

Courtney and I are in Rome this week, compliments of Focus Features and A Different Drummer, to visit the set of a movie based on Anne Rice’s novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. We are embargoed from writing anything about the movie (yet), but my fifteenth trip to the Eternal City has brought on some thoughts.

Among Christianity’s critics from within — especially my own tribe of progressive Protestants — it’s fashionable to disparage empire at every turn. Empire, it seems, is responsible for everything that ails our faith.

Oh, and Constantine was an asshat.

As it turns out, that’s not exactly true.

[Read more...]

The Emerging Church Is What It Says It Is

Malaysia Emerging

On Friday I covered the first of two articles by political scientists Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University and Paul Djupe of Denison University. In that article, they used their research to show that emergent are not universally liberal, as opponents claim, but are really rather diverse when it comes to politics and theology.

Today I turn to their second article, “Emergent Church Practices in America: Inclusion and Deliberation in American Congregations,” published in the Review of Religious Research. Here’s the abstract of the article: [Read more...]

Study Shows Emergent Is Not As Liberal As You Thought

Photo by Courtney Perry

Photo by Courtney Perry

Just when you thought emergent was dead, scholars are showing that it’s very much alive and kicking. I will soon write about the excellent full-length book, The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity by Gerardo Marti and Gladys Ganiel. That book came out earlier this year.

Now, two political scientists — Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University and Paul Djupe of Denison University — have co-authored two academic articles about the Emerging Church. Each article shows some fascinating insights into the movement, and each upsets some of what we think we know. I’ll post about one today and the other on Monday.

[Read more...]

Nadia Brings Queers, Gays, and Lesbians To an Evangelical Party

The above video was posted by Nadia on her Facebook page (If you can’t see it, click on “Post” above; WordPress doesn’t always load Facebook videos correctly). It’s her submission to The Nines, a online “conference” hosted by Leadership Network. In their request for submissions, LN wrote this:

There is no greater and faster shift in culture today than the swing towards the acceptance of same-sex marriage. Church leaders need to determine the right path moving forward; loving and ministering to the LGBT community, while at the same time holding-fast to a theological position (held by most)  that prohibits the practice of homosexuality.

So, as you can see, Nadia is cutting against the grain on this.

Kudos, friend.


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