The Disappearing Religious Gender Gap

It is relatively well known that America is a more religious country than most and that in America women are significantly more religious than men based on most traditional measures of religious belief and behavior. When I discuss religious behavior with a variety of audiences one measure resonates more than any other: attending religious services.  New research suggests that the once wide gender gap in religious service is now narrowing. More specifically, it was was cut in half from 1982 to Read More …

Sermon: Stating Our Faith

Sermon Text: Colossians 1:15-20 Sermon Excerpt As a resident of Southwest Florida for the last several years, I have been blessed to expand my horizons in many ways – including learning from many of you about what everyday life was like before I was born.  I understand many of you grew up in a time I call “BT” – Before Television.  In the world before every home had a television and every television had the ability to receive dozens of channels, there was radio. Perhaps you can remember Read More …

Sermon: An Opportune Time

Sermon Text: Ecclesiastes 3:1-6 Sermon Excerpt: A month before I graduated from seminary I started my first pastoral position.  I was one of the associate pastors in the oldest continually meeting Protestant congregation in Dallas, Texas.  My official job title was so long even I had a hard time remembering it.  It included elements of congregational redevelopment with an emphasis on reaching new people – especially those who were younger. For some reason people assumed that since I was Read More …

Christian Belief in a Personal God

Tobin Grant recently wrote an insightful article calling attention to the fact that just because American Christians believe in God does not mean that they believe in is a personal God.  Using data from the 2007 Religious Landscape Survey Grant provides graphical representations of what percentage of American Christians in each of 43 religious traditions believe in God followed by another illustrating what percentage of these believe in a personal God. Focusing on belief in a personal God Read More …

Review of The December Project

Meet the Author Sara Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including Loose Change (1997) and Leap!: What Will We Do with the Rest of our Lives? (2008).  Additionally, her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Harper's, The Atlantic, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. Book Basics (available tomorrow - March 25) Living in a community known for its unusually large numbers of retirees, I am well aware of the importance of finishing well.  While Read More …

Sermon: Seeing is Believing

Sermon Text: John 9:1-141 Sermon Excerpt This morning is all about blindness – the lifelong physical blindness of one man born blind and a bad case of temporary spiritual blindness in a group of religious folks. Perhaps we should begin with what appears the easier form of blindness: the physical lack of sight.  The man born blind has lived his entire life without being able to see his surroundings. If he had hopes that he might someday see, those had likely died off years Read More …

God’s Role in the Super Bowl

According to a new survey, more than half of all Americans believe God has a role to play in this year's Super Bowl.  This number includes: Americans who pray for God to help their team (26 percent), think their team has been cursed (25 percent) or more generally believe God is involved in determining who wins on the court or in the field (19 percent). So What? During my adult life, I have watched at least part of every Super Bowl.  My reasons for watching have varied: some years I have Read More …

American Belief in God

Americans have long been some of the world's most religious people.  Wayne Baker, sociologist on the senior faculty of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, recently blogged about research that confirms America remains near the top of the list of countries when it comes to the percentage of people who believe strongly in God without any doubts.  More specifically, of the 30 countries included in the International Social Survey Program, the United States ranked fourth for those Read More …

Age & Belief in God

A few days ago a Huffington Post article reported on a recent study "based on data collected as part of the General Social Survey by researchers at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago" that found older people are more religious.  The pattern of higher rates of belief in God among older respondents was consistent throughout the world (in the 30 countries considered by this research). So What? While some commonly held views about religion are not Read More …