Top 10 Books of 2016

There are so many good books published every year.  The best of the best among those I read this year follow in my seventh annual listing of my top ten books of the year. Top 10 Books of 2016 Author Title Lillian Daniel Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To Robert P. Jones The End of White Christian America Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Brian McLaren The Great Spiritual Read More …

Shaping the Future of Christianity

Dying Some say Christianity is dying.  I won't argue with them.  If Christianity is defined narrowly and if it should be replicated in every time and place in identical ways then we can rest assured Christianity is dying and will soon be dead. Living Christianity, inasmuch as I understand what the Way of Jesus is about, is living.  The only way any person or group of people can authentically live as followers of Jesus is to do so within their time and place. Thriving Sociologists Read More …

Sermon: All In

Sermon Text: Mark 12:41-44 Sermon Excerpt Presbyterian minister Scott Hauser recently shared a list of things that many American Christians often love more than God.  His list includes items many may dismiss, but perhaps should not: football, beauty, and technology.  It also contains items that some may be more willing to admit often become like gods – at least for a season: the American way, attention, and safety.  Whether or not your complete list would look similar to Hauser’s, I think Read More …

Top Posts of 2013

According to the number of page visits during this calendar year, the most popular posts I wrote in 2013 are  Top 10 Books of 2012 1,000 Posts Pastor of Innovation Social Media Shortcomings Review of When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough So What? I truly appreciate the feedback readers provide.  You vote by clicking, and your interest in posts and topics is confirmed by the time you linger on my site.  While this data is helpful, it tells only part of the story.  If Read More …

Future of the Faith

This past Thursday Yale Divinity School hosted a one-of-a-kind event: The Future of Faith.   This two-part event featured author and scholar Diana Butler Bass and New York Times Op-Ed columnist Ross Douthat.  The first hour,"The Future of Faith: Two Views," was moderated by Bob Abernethy, host of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.  The second hour, "Future of Faith and Church Life," was moderated by Lillian Daniel, a writer and United Church of Christ pastor. Bass' latest book is "Christianity Read More …

Denominational Apology Sunday

Lillian Daniel, UCC pastor and author of When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church (my review), recently wrote a humorous piece for the Huffington Post entitled "The Church Year: New and Improved."  In this article, she lists and briefly explores eleven completely made up prospective additions to the church year including Bad Preaching Sunday, Jesus, My Buddy! Sunday, and Not Everyone Has a Nice Mother Sunday. My personal Read More …

Review of When Spiritual But Not Religious is Not Enough

Meet the Author Since 2004, Lillian Daniel has served as the Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, of Glen Ellyn in the Chicago area.  A renowned preacher, Daniel has taught preaching at Yale Divinity School, Chicago Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago Divinity School.  Her previous books are Tell it Like it Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony (2005) and This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers Read More …