Religion in the U.S.

Lowest Common Denomination

With the exception of a couple brief positive blips, membership and worship attendance have been in steady decline in The United Methodist Church since the Methodist/Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) merger in 1968.  This isn’t news.  It has been virtually impossible to read anything written about our denomination over the past 40 […]

Easter for LEADERS

As Christian leaders, we NEED Easter.  We need it because it reminds us of who we absolutely must be as clergy and laity guides in the Christian faith.  It reminds us that we are entrusted with three (at least…) impossible tasks, made possible by the Lord and Savior we follow.  […]

Blind Faith In An Age of Darkness

Many are the critics of blind, irrational, unquestioning faith — until the world comes crashing in.  Then, in the midst of the hurt and fear and despair, there is often left but one option: believe.  Such is the lesson of Good Friday.  When all else fails — when the answers offered […]

Jesus, Dyed For Our Sins

While driving through Illinois, a roadside sign made me get off the highway and circle around again just to be sure I saw what I thought I saw: “Yummy Jesus Goodness!” printed in huge red letters.  A very sweet, jolly clone of Mrs. Santa Claus sat behind a trestle table selling homemade […]

Science & Religion — Ten Degrees of Separation

War is a horrible thing, especially an unnecessary and meaningless war.  One such terrible and tragic conflict exists between science and religion.  The popular media loves the whole idea — physics vs. metaphysics, secular vs. spiritual, rational vs. emotional, fact vs. fiction — and always portrays the issue in stark […]

A Minority Opinion — Shack Attack

Within the past week I have received four different emails regarding William Young’s, The Shack.  The attention this book receives is interesting to me, and I posted a review in May 2008 that voices a minority opinion — while I observe a widespread, gushing adoration for the book, I found […]

The New-nited Methodist Church

A few people responded to my “Oh We, Of Little Faith” post — addressing the the doom-and-gloom predictions of the end of the UMC in the next forty years or so — by asking what kind of future I do envision for the good old UMC?  Looking at trends and […]

The Irrationalization of Christianity

Two recent conversations raise questions in my mind about the integrity and strength of our beliefs.  A pair of incredibly intelligent, deeply spiritual Christians shared with me heart-breaking realizations that there is no longer any place for them in the church — all because they are reasonable, rational people trying […]

Show Me The Money Mission

Times are tough. The economy is in the tank. People are losing jobs, and those who have them are growing ever more cautious with their money. It’s got to be hurting the church, right?  Well, yes… and no. It all depends on where the congregational treasure is — there will […]

Blasphemediocrity

blasphemy (noun) — irreverent or disrespectful words or actions concerning God or sacred things. mediocrity (noun) — a state of poor or barely adequate quality; neither good nor bad. blasphemediocrity (noun) — the  disrespect of God and the sacred by accepting barely adequate and/or poor quality standards of spiritual belief […]