Most Popular Sermons

We are now almost two weeks into the second half of the year known as 2015.  A few weeks ago I shared my most popular blog posts from the first half of the year.  Today, I offer my most popular sermons from the first half of the year (based on YouTube views) in lieu of new sermon content since I am on vacation and not preaching this morning. Titleless - watch / read - a 13 min. message on humility Surprising Salaries - watch / read - a 12 min. message on the Parable of the Laborers in the Read More …

Religious Profiles

Since the American religious landscape is always changing, it is important to note current demographic data. The following image is from the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings based on data captured last summer. So What? According to this survey of just over 2,000 people religious progressives are more racially diverse than any other group, and are more than twice as successful in attracting the affiliation of America's youngest adults: the Millennials.  On the other end Read More …

Progressive Identity

Many people think of the United Church of Christ as a progressive Protestant denomination.  Since it is a congregational tradition, it is important to note that this tradition features congregations and members with views all across the theological continuum.  Individual congregations that claim progressive as a core part of their identity should be intentional in communicating that message. Recently I encountered an exemplary example of how to tell the progressive story well on the website Read More …

The Decade of Christian Decline

2000-2010 can best be labeled as a decade of decline for American Christianity.  David Roozen's recent piece in the Christian Century provides an important look at just how rapid the decline was for conservative/evangelical Protestants, mainline/oldline Protestants, and Roman Catholics.  As a percentage, the declines were oldline/mainline: 13% Catholic: 5% conservative/evangelical: 1% So What? After decades of progressive Christianity, it should not be surprising to see the Read More …

A Divided Christianity

Marcus Borg is professor emeritus in the philosophy department at Oregon State University, where he was the Hundere Chair in Religion until his retirement in 2007.   He is also the only author to ever make my top ten books of the year list in consecutive years (2011 and 2012).  Recently, he joined Patheos.  In his introductory post explaining who he is and what he will be blogging about, Borg explains the reality of what American Christianity is today: My (and our) cultural context is a deeply Read More …

A New Mainline

Mainline Protestantism has transitioned from American's dominant form of Christianity to a mere 18% of the adult population.  Many forecast continued decline. Recognizing the issue with the name, Cathy Lynn Grossman is inviting you to take a poll to propose a new name for the mainline, which includes a "dozen church groups  . . . including United Methodists, Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans, Presbyterians (USA) and American Baptists)."  The options she offers are Old Line Liberal Read More …

Reinventing Liberal Christianity

Last week I read Theo Hobson's new book: Reinventing Liberal Christianity (2013).  It is the sort of work that warrants deeper and more thoughtful consideration than my first read allowed.   Since I am not likely to return to it for awhile yet find the content engaging and relevant, I will forgo a book review in favor of a book recommendation.  Those interested in a thoughtful and thought provoking exploration of what liberal Christianity (largely Protestantism) is today, how it reached this Read More …

North American Christianity is Broken

New York Times best selling author Frank Schaeffer, recently wrote a strong critique of both the evangelical and progressive forms of Protestant Christianity in North America in which he claims that "The problem with North American Christianity is not the window-dressing– it’s the whole package." So What? Like Schaeffer, I believe the current trend of decline among Protestants in North America signals that Protestant Christianity as we have known it for the last hundred years has major Read More …

Review of The Idolatry of God

Meet the Author Peter Rollins is "a widely sought after writer, lecturer, storyteller and public speaker" known for his existential view of Christianity known as pyro-theology.  He completed his formal education at Queens University, Belfast with earned degrees in Scholastic Philosophy (BA Hons), Political Theory (MA) and Post-Structural thought (PhD).  Rollins is the author of multiple books, including The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction (2012), Read More …

The Scandal of American Christianity

In response to Candace Chellew-Hodge's recent interview question about religion and wealth, progressive Christian scholar Marcus Borg offers these wise words: The scandal of American Christianity today is that it is deeply divided not only about issues like biblical inerrancy and evolution, but it's deeply divided between a conservative vision of Christianity that emphasizes that what really matters morally is personal morality, the behavior of individuals . . . On the other side of the Read More …