November 30, 2023

Church planting has long been in the evangelical DNA. In early America, frontier expansion went hand in hand with a vigorous campaign of church multiplication. Ever since, migration, conversion, and population growth have created receptive audiences religious entrepreneurs to forge new Christian communities. Since the colonial period, Americans have never had much patience for the idea that a “churched” area could be left to the work of existing congregations. The preferred vocabulary nowadays is that of the “life cycle”: churches... Read more

November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving may well be your favorite holiday. For a lot of Americans, it exudes a kind of a warm, sentimental glow, fueled by the twin coals of food and family. I’m not in that category: I was born in England, and moving to the US at age 8, I was only partially inducted into the cult of Thanksgiving. The strange sweet-savory food combinations (sweet potato casserole with streusel topping and marshmallows, weird jello “salads”) combined with my general aversion to... Read more

November 18, 2023

Same-Sex Blessings in the Church of England Unlike many other Anglican churches in the western world (the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and so on) the Church of England has not, up to this point, embraced same-sex marriage, the ministry of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy (at least officially), or (until very recently) church blessings for gay couples. Despite being the established church in a nation that embraced gay marriage over a decade ago and where only 13%... Read more

November 6, 2023

I want to welcome you to my new column, The Postsecular West. My name is Tom Whittaker, and I teach history at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, about two hours east of Dallas. The title of the blog is a reflection of my aspiration here: to explore and think seriously about the place of religion, especially Christianity, in our modern world. In much of the West, secularization has turned the Christian church from a dominant force into a moribund institution.... Read more

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