The End of Biblical Literalism

For the last 40 years Gallup has polled Americans on their view of the Bible.  For the purposes of this research, respondents are asked to choose between inspired by God not to be taken literally actual word of God to be taken literally, and fables, history, and moral precepts recorded by people. Over the entire 40 year period the most common way Americans have interpreted the Bible is as a book that is inspired by God but not to be taken literally.  That perspective has held rather Read More …

Water is Life

I grew up taking water for granted.  Wherever my little feet took me, water flowed freely whenever I turned on a faucet. It was always there when I was thirsty.   It was a given for bathing and toileting.  It filled pools and lakes and oceans providing endless options for summer fun. Water was everywhere. Water was always there. Water is More and Less Of course, water was, is and always will be far more and far less than my childhood memories. It is more as it signals the arrival Read More …

Americans Like but Don’t Read the Bible

Last week LifeWay Research released the results of their latest poll of Americans' thoughts about and readership of the Bible.  It turns out that overall Americans continue to hold this sacred text in high regard even as readership rates and biblical literacy decline. Previous research by the American Bible Society found that at least one Bible is present in 87% of American homes.  Also, more than 75% of American homes have an Internet connection they could use to access the Bible online. Read More …

Fading America: Disappearing Dream – Emerging as Developing Nation

When did you first realize that the so-called American Dream has died?  Or, put in nicer terms, when did you realize that the American Dream as understood in a popular sense is realistically attainable for a shrinking portion of those living within the borders of the United States? Perspective A few hours before writing this post I had a lengthy conversation with an older Baby Boomer.  This person is greatly concerned that the current President is providing many people with false hope Read More …

Humble Leadership

Humility is hard to talk about, and harder still to embody. Most people don't quit a job; most people quit their boss. Humble leaders are needed as much and perhaps more now than ever. Humility & Effectiveness In a recent Harvard Business Review article Margarita Mayo, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IE Business School in Madrid, noted that humble leaders are more effective leaders.  She writes Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the Read More …

Being American, Being Christian?

  Does Believing in God Make You a Better American? This question is the title of a recent article by Kelsey Dallas that addresses how many Americans feel about what the role of Christianity should be in shaping the American experience. While most readers can and will quickly answer the question, it is important to also be aware of how other Americans have answered it in recent years. 4 out of 10 think a culture grounded in Christianity is an extremely or very important piece Read More …

I Want to Be with People Who . . .

I recently completed a 70 week long search for a community of faith.  During that journey I received more advice from others than anticipated, and spent time in more congregations than I had initially planned.  Throughout these experiences I was reminded of just how different communities of faith can be - even and sometimes especially those geographically near one another and/or  those sharing a denominational affiliation. I was also reminded of the importance of diversity within a Read More …

My 2017 Religious Resolutions . . . So Far

Four months ago today I shared my resolutions for the new (church) year: During this church year I resolve to Join (and be actively involved in) a local community of faith Labor to make real on earth God’s realm of justice and peace Write about matters of faith that matter (primarily here on this blog) Teach (and continue learning) about Christianity and the world’s many great religions Discern an answer (or many answers!) to the question “What next?” Progress Report Since Read More …

Christianity is Always Political

If your preferred version of Christianity isn't political, then you have likely misunderstood the religion. Willimon on Politics and Christianity Popular author and long-time United Methodist Bishop William H. Willimon delivered the T. B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics last year at Hardin-Simmons University.  One address - "Say Something Polictical: A Christian Vision of Engaging the World" - appeared in print in the Winter 2016-2017 edition of the Window (a publication of the Logsdon Read More …