Americans Pray For

Results of a new LifeWay survey suggest that Americans tend to focus their prayers on themselves and close family and friends rather than the well being of the world or people or causes that are beyond their immediate influence.  More specifically, when given the opportunity to select as many things from a list as they wished, participants indicated they prayed most for family or friends - 82%, own problems and difficulties - 74%, good things that have recently occurred - 54%, and own 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 …

Review of What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Meet the Author Rob Bell is the Founding Pastor and Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church (est. 1999), a congregation that grew to over 10,000 under his leadership.  While attracting a young audience to the church, his message reached a far wider audience through a series of two dozen thought provoking brief (10-14 minutes per DVD) NOOMA videos (2002-2009).  Bell's previous books include The New York Times bestseller Love Wins, along with Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Read More …

Super Stats

Much has been written about the loss of productivity in offices around the country immediately following the Super Bowl. Rather than add to the conversation about the big game or the expensive commercials that aired during it, I offer statistics from two recent polls that suggest Americans bring together religion and sports in interesting ways. "Nearly 3-in-10 (27 percent) Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins sports events" (Public Religion Research Read More …

Review of When God Talks Back

Meet the Author T. M. Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department.  Her books include Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (1989), The Good Parsi (1996), Of Two Minds (2000), and When God Talks Back (2012). Luhrmann was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003) and awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007). Book Basics T. M. Luhrmann grew up in an environment that birthed religious Read More …

God Is

Tripp Hudgins recently blogged about God.  He writes: God is who God says God is. God is bigger than the craft that is religion. God is not what we do. Nor is God some Collective Self. God is more than we can contain in even our most imaginative moments. God is more than the people who have claimed God over the years. God is more and thus, when we want to know God we have to pull the Moses Hat out of our bag and ask the Almighty "Who do I tell them sent me?" God is a Who. This is recognition of Read More …

Unlearning God

Jon Acuff recently blogged about his realization that "God is not who I thought he was," which has led him to new experiences of "unlearning God." So What? Our images of who God is develop over time.  In honest exploration, it is often appropriate and helpful to unlearn or set aside some aspects of our prior understanding.  What about God are you currently seeking to unlearn? Read More …

12 Marks of Convergence Christianity

Eric Elnes, Senior Minister of Countryside Community Church (UCC) and host of Darkwood Brew, has recently written several blog posts on Convergence Christianity. His latest post features twelve defining characteristics, which are evenly divided into three categories: Love of God, Love of Neighbor, and Love of Self.   Elnes attributes resonate with others, including Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Frank Schaeffer, and Diana Butler Bass. Love of God They are letting go of the notion that their Read More …

God is Not

On this Independence Day far too many Americans make astounding theological assumptions about our nation and God's role in it.  If it has been awhile since you considered many of the documents of historical importance, I encourage you to consider reading Stephen Prothero's new book The American Bible (I reviewed it yesterday). While I realize there is much I don't know about God, I am sure God is not an American.  In fact, I am certain God is not many of the things people commonly imagine, 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 …