Sermon: Shifting Spiritualities

Sermon Text: John 6:35 Sermon Excerpt . . .the dominant spirituality in our country back in the 1950s was a spirituality of dwelling.  Church was at the center of society. In many places, churches were literally at the center of town.  They were one of three pillars of stability along with small town life, and Americanism. This was the height of church building and expansion projects.  These larger spaces were needed because increasing percentages of Americans were joining local Read More …

Proper Clothing for Church

John Blake's recent "Stop Dressing So Tacky for Church" piece explores the shift toward worshippers opting for more casual attire, and some of the possible reasons for this shift.  He notes some suggest that we dress up for that which we have gratitude for while others look to the example of Jesus and the words of the Bible for guidance.  Additionally, he correctly notes a trend toward more casual dress in the culture in general, which has an impact on how people dress for a wide variety of Read More …

Review of The God Problem

Meet the Author Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard Andlinger Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion at Princeton University.  Wuthnow is widely published in the areas of sociology of religion, culture and civil society.  His recent books include After the Baby Boomers:  How Twenty-and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion (my review) and Boundless Faith: The Global Influence of American Churches (my review).  For more Read More …

Reflections on 75 Recently Published Books

Over the last year and a half (roughly 75 weeks), I have posted my reflections on 75 recently published books.  I encourage you to browse the list as you think of your reading list for 2011.  Each title is linked to my review. Author Title Year Allison, Jay and Gediman, Dan, eds. This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable American Men and Women 2006 Allison, Jay and Gediman, Dan, eds. This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable American Read More …

I Quit! – Sermon for September 12

I Quit!  (Text: I Corinthians 1:10-17)  Let us pray. Holy One, you are still speaking God – enable us to be a still listening people.  May my words and the conversations they produce draw us closer to Jesus and to all who seek to follow him.  Amen. Church fights happen more often than we like to admit and can do more harm than a damage assessment report might suggest.  Arguments can begin with something as routine as choosing new carpet for the fellowship hall or as theological as what Read More …

Review of Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You’ve Been Told

Wright, Bradley R. E.  Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media.  Bethany House, 2010.  ISBN: 9780764207464 Meet the Author Bradley Wright is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut.  After keeping quiet about his Christian faith early in his career, Wright became more open after gaining tenure.   His specialties include religion, social psychology and crime.   Read More …