God is Still Speaking – the First Decade

Ron Buford is the lead architect of the United Church of Christ's (UCC) Still Speaking campaign which began in 2002.  He recently accepted a call to serve as Interim Minister for Discipleship at Old South Church in Boston, and authored an article about Still Speaking in the denomination's magazine (Vol. 2, Issue 2 - p.54-56).  In that piece he explores his experiences over the last decade, including his travel to congregations in all but two of the UCC Conferences.  While many forecast continued Read More …

Progressive Theology – Shared Affirmations

Patheos recently launched a progressive Christian portal.  During the next two weeks, this new portal is hosting a symposium exploring what progressive Christianity is and why that matters today.  Bruce Epperly, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who serves as  Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Continuing Education at Lancaster Theological Seminary, contributed an article to this week's discussion on defining the landscape 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 …

Review of A House for Hope

Meet the Authors Rebecca Ann Parker is an ordained United Methodist minister in dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association who currently serves as president of and professor of theology at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA.  She is the co-author with Rita Nakashima Brock of  Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us (2001) and  Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixions and Empire Read More …

Toward A Christian Response to the Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s death has been a lead news story for the last several days.  Over the course of the week I have read a number of tweets, Facebook status messages, and blog posts commenting on the matter from a Christian perspective.  These reflections represent a wide range of theological beliefs, including a number that place United States citizenship above one’s place in the reign of God and sound quite unChristian.  In contrast, I offer the words of leaders from two of the mainline Read More …

Theology on Tap / Theology Pub Discussion Starters

Adam Walker Cleaveland is Minister for Youth and Young Adults at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, CA.  At 31, he is among the younger voices of note in the emerging church movement and a co-founder of Presbymergent.  Adam is a candidate in the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination process as well as a prolific and thoughtful blogger, writing primarily on his sites: PomoMusings and DazedDad.  To connect with him, view his flickr stream, follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, or Read More …

Theology and the Church After Google

"Theology and the Church After Google: How This New Age Will Change Christianity" is both an article about how theology is shifting and must continue to change as well as an example of such change.  It is written by an academic (Philip Clayton, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University and Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology) and was published in an academic journal (The Princeton Theological Review), however, it now appears online in its entirety (The Read More …

Why People Choose Your Church

According to the Faith Matters Survey (2006) of 3108 people, the top reasons people chose their current congregation (according to reasons they indicated were "very important) are Theology or religious beliefs (60%) Liturgy or style of worship (45%) Marriage, spouse, or partner (40%) Family [other than spouse] (40%) Clergy (39%) Location (32%) Childhood congregation (27%) Friends Political or social views So What? Liturgically speaking today is the first Sunday of Read More …

A Call to Move Beyond “Common Christianity”

Two Competing Views Author, theologian and progressive Christian thinker Marcus Borg suggests that there is often a disconnect between what pastors learn in mainline seminaries and what many Christians believe.  In a recent Washington Post article, he explains the two conflicting views.  To summarize the beliefs of most Christians, Borg creates a term: "common Christianity," which he explains to mean: . .  .what most Christians took-for-granted until a generation or two ago - and perhaps Read More …