Tomorrow’s Church

Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion (read my review),  recently sat down with Chris Yaw (check out my conversation with Yaw on mainline decline) to discuss what the church of tomorrow will look like.  This fifty-five minute conversation is a rich resource for those who care about the church, and want to better understand what the church will look beyond an era dominated by conventional religion. She cites research that shows belief in God has fallen from 99% to 90% over Read More …

Episcopalian Praise for the UCC

John Shelby Spong served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001.  In retirement, he has been a prolific writer and speaker.   His latest essay, "A Salute to the United Church of Christ," portrays the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a denomination with the potential to "inspire, bring about and participate in the necessary reformation required to break the Christian faith out of its dying patterns."  While Spong has had numerous interactions with Read More …

Saving Liberal Christianity

Earlier this week, my post "Can Christianity Be Saved" considered Ross Douthat’s July 14, 2102, New York Times editorial  “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?,” and Diana Butler Bass's reply later that same day on the Huffington Post.  During the course of the week I returned to the topic in online and in person conversations.  The most encouraging part of the dialogue was the shared understanding about three interelated matters: There is a real problem; The problem is far larger than the Read More …

Review of The Mobile Wave

Meet the Author Michael Saylor founded (1989) the publicly traded company MicroStrategy, a leading provider of enterprise software platforms for business intelligence, mobile intelligence, and social intelligence applications.  Currently he serves the business as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. Saylor earned degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering and in Science, Technology and Society.  He has appeared on 60 Minutes and Read More …

Reorganizing Denominations

In the "Under Discussion" column in the June edition of Christianity Today, six evangelical leaders responded to the question "Should denominations be organized geographically?"  Their responses follow: Yes: Carl Trueman and Greg Peters Between Yes and No: Bob Thompson and R. Albert Mohler Jr. No: Will Willimon and Paul Detterman (p.12). So What? I often write about the future of denominations on this blog.  The only thing about which I am certain is that the future will look Read More …

Life is Now

So much happens in a year’s time. As I reflect back over the last year of life I think mostly about several shifts alongside considerable continuity. While my complete list of changes during the past 365 days is rather lengthy, a few examples adequately address the impact these have on how I spend my time.   Professionally, I moved from having a single employer to multiple employers.  Personally, my wife and I became landlords after purchasing a rental property. So What? Life is best Read More …

Facebook’s Future Viability

Facebook is everywhere I turn lately.  I continue to encounter: news, news and more news about and leading up to the IPO; blogs and news stories on how the Instagram acquisition will not happen soon as was originally indicated; information that all is not well with online ad revenues, especially compared to Google; and people who are passionate about the future of Facebook, especially from those favoring both extremes. With this in mind I was intrigued to learn the results of the Read More …

The Future Church (v.2020) – 10 Shifts

Over the last two weeks I have shared the top ten ways I hope the American church of 2020 will differ from the church of 2012.  The list builds on trends in church and the larger culture; is realistic rather than idealistic; and is guided by hope in rather than fear about the future. The list seeks to consider broad shifts within American Christianity rather than specific changes or changes more likely in some traditions and less likely in others.  Additionally, it intentionally Read More …

The Church in 2020 – Major Changes Ahead

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the landscape of American Christianity since the 1950s.  Any time I make a presentation on the topic, people always ask about the future.  In order to more fully answer those questions I devised a list of changes I believe to be most likely.  The original list was created in 2006, before I entered the blogosphere. When I revised the list and turned it into a "top ten" in 2009, I published it on my blog.  In light of significant changes in Read More …

More than the Buildings

Tari Stage-Harvey, pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Juneau, AK, recently wrote an article for the Juneau Empire suggesting that it is time for Christians to move beyond their fascination with church property and buildings.  She writes: Something happened in the history of Christianity where the assembly of Jesus’ followers fell in love with buildings. The building became church. The building became something we went to and often quickly exited so we could move on to Read More …