Review of Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World

Moore, Mary Elizabeth Mullino and Wright, Almeda M., eds. Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World.  Chalice Press, 2008.  ISBN: 978-0-827205-13-0. Meet the Editors Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Theology and Education at Boston University.  Previously she served as Assistant Director and Research Coordinator of the Theology and Ministry Program at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  Her recent books include Read More …

Review of Surprised by Hope

Wright, N. T.  Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church.  Harper One, 2008.  ISBN: 978-0-06-155182-6. Meet the Author N.T. (Nicholas Thomas) Wright is the one of the world's top Biblical scholars and has been called "the world's leading New Testament scholar" by Newsweek.   He taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities.  Wright is currently the Bishop of Durham for the Church of England.  He is Read More …

Online Churches Draw Believers, Critics

Earlier this week, Anne Hammock wrote an article for CNN about online churches. Online Churches Draw Believers, Critics explores a topic that is drawing increased attention from both sacred and secular media as more and more people participate in online worship and discipleship experiences.  She writes, "Internet pastors and parishioners cite their 24-hour access to interactive tools and social-networking platforms to show their online experiences are as meaningful as those that take place Read More …

The Future Church – Congregational/Local is Primary

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 4.    Congregational/Local is Primary Gone are the days when loyalty to denomination is common. The mentality of yesteryear was that a loyal parishioner of First United Methodist in one town would join another United Methodist congregation when that person relocated for a new job or retirement.  Today when a faithful participant of one local body of believers moves to a new town, that individual is likely to visit Read More …

Review of This I Believe and This I Believe II

Allison, Jay and Gediman, Dan, eds.  This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable American Men and Women.  Henry Holt and Company, 2006.  ISBN: 978-0-8050-8658-4. Allison, Jay and Gediman, Dan, eds.  This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable American Men and Women.  Henry Holt and Company, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8768-0. Meet the Editors Jay Allison is the host and curator of This I Believe and the founder of the public radio stations that serve Martha's Read More …

Review of Boundless Faith

Wuthnow, Robert.  Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches.  University of California Press, 2009.  ISBN: 978-0-520-25915-7. Meet the Author Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion at Princeton University.  Wuthnow is widely published in the areas of sociology of religion, culture and civil society.  His recent books include Boundless Faith: The Global Influence of American Read More …

The Future Church – Greater Variety of Worship Experiences

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 5.    Greater Variety of Worship Experiences Gone are the days when church growth simply meant adding more worship services.  For years, the model was simple.  Churches held a single Sunday morning worship service.  If attendance grew beyond the comfort level of the leaders, then a second service was added.  The second service was a copy of the first.  The same was true for a move from two services to three or three to Read More …

The Future Church – Inclusive

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 6.    Inclusive Church is often viewed by outsiders as exclusive.  The idea that 11:00 a.m. on Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week has been commonplace for decades.  Bouncer (commercial shown above, permission granted to repost) is one of many effective television commercials created by the United Church of Christ that seek to counter the cultural expectation that few are truly welcome at church with an Read More …

Review of I Once Was Lost

Everts, Don and Schaupp, Doug.  I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus.  IVP Books, 2008.  ISBN: 978-0-8308-3608-6. Meet the Authors Don Everts (pictured on the left) served as a campus missionary with InterVaristy Christian Fellowship for fourteen years in Washington and Colorado.  He currently serves as minister of outreach at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church.  Additionally, Everts is the author of eleven books including Jesus with Dirty Feet, The Smell Read More …

The Future Church – More Functional

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 7.    More Functional (Ministry Teams and Task Forces) Any discussion of this change must begin with the recognition of the three primary forms of polity found in Protestant churches: congregational, presbyterian, and episcopal.  In some ways those congregations with a congregational polity will find the changes simpler to make than those with the other forms.  However, it is both necessary and appropriate for all churches Read More …