Reflecting on Christmas in America

With the holidays well behind us now, we can stand back and take a look at how religion and Christmas are being approached by Americans without the annual culture wars that often attend such conversations. The Pew Research Center has provided an excellent set of data about this topic in its December 2017 study on…

Healing American Division

The Public Religion Research Institute issued a new report in December 2017 that reflects on the division among Americans following 2017 and the completion of the first full year of the Trump Presidency. Perhaps one of the starkest statistics they offer is just how much Republicans and Democrats distrust one another. The report states: “There…

More Data for White Mainline Protestants

In my previous post I explored how white mainline Protestant church leaders are out of touch with two groups: 1) the conservatives in their own ranks as well as the rest of the United States and 2) marginalized Christians. This was based on the Pew Research Center’s most recent political typology report. From this, I…

White Mainline Protestants: Doubly Out of Touch

The Pew Research Center’s typology study not only offers insight into the split world of white American evangelicalism. It also demonstrates that the mainline Protestant denominations are out of touch with the very people they think are their closest allies: liberals and Christians of color. Mainline denominations have been moving to the left both theologically…

A Tale of Two American Evangelicalisms

That there is not one, coherent evangelical church in the United States today is no surprise. Simply reading the responses to any tweet Ed Stetzer, a recognized evangelical leader in the United States, makes about Pres. Trump provides anecdotal evidence of this. Now, thanks the Pew Research Center, there are data and concepts available to…

It’s a Trap! (The Freedom of Renewal)

We’ve all felt it before: the need to choose between the lesser of two evils. It happens in small ways, like choosing between two ways to spend an afternoon that we will find mildly uncomfortable, and in large ways, like being faced with an election in which you disagree with all the candidates that are…

The Power of the Light

The massacre in Las Vegas cries out to us about the sickness in our culture and social structures, begging anyone who will to offer healing. Those of us in the church hear this loud and clear. As members of the same culture and society, we feel the same need ourselves. Yet, we can feel so…

Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Christian Practices for the Public Square

I have been covering meta-level issues so far in this blog, with some suggestions about how Christians might approach these at the ends of my articles. However, before going any further, I thought it would be helpful to pause and consider the different ways Christians can engage large cultural and social issues. As of 2010,…

Breaches in Security, Cries of Despair

Showing people that we can trust and hope in the God of Jesus Christ even when—like Martha and Mary—we feel like He’s absent, will mean far more than our offering platitudes while pretending we have never had doubts or pains.

Trends in American 4: No Alternatives

With all the problems that the people in the United States is facing, there is one more. It seems there are no alternatives for how to live differently. There is no political, social or economic change that will make things better. Even the church seems to have its hands tied. There are a lot of…