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American Dream

The Shrinking Dreams: America & Church


In her recent article in The Atlantic, Marianne Cooper considered data from a number of recent surveys before concluding that "people are downsizing their definition of the American dream." More specifically, she notes that "the desire to own a home or to move up economically is often replaced by a desire to be debt free and to have financial stability." What Next? Cooper rightly suggests that this general shift in perspective is likely to have many long term negative consequences as Read More …

Living the American Dream?

American Dream

Price tag for the American dream: $130K a year.  The first few times I encountered that statement on social media, I dismissed it.  Finally, I decided to check out the story or, more precisely, read Howard R. Gold's July 4, 2014, USA TODAY article with that title. While I hesitate to define the American dream solely in economic terms, I recognize it is the simplest place to begin.  Household finances have become an area of greater concern and awareness thanks to the Great Recession.  This Read More …

Trends in College Degree Attainment

Florida college degree

I grew up with the understanding that a college degree was a part of the path leading to the American dream.  A recent Chronicle of Higher Education interactive graphic provides the clearest visual explanation of trends in college degree attainment across the country.  The graphic provides county by county analysis of the percentage of adults with college degrees, which can be further sorted by gender or race. Additionally, the graphic provides the same information for seven different dates. Read More …

Better Off Than Our Parents

Better Off

While the economy has struggled the last few years, most Americans feel that financially things now are better than they were in our country a generation ago.  More specifically, according to Gallup's latest research 69% of Americans believe they "are better off financially than their parents were when they were the same age." So What? While the majority of those polled in all age groups and at all income levels believed they are better off than their parents, the percentage holding the Read More …

Review of Radical


Platt, David.  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.  Multnomah, 2010. ISBN: 9781601422217. Meet the Author At age 28, David Platt became the youngest American megachurch pastor when he accepted the call to be the pastor of  The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.  Now 31, he continues to serve as pastor of this 4000 member congregation affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and recently published his first book.  Platt has five college degrees, Read More …