Spiritual Trends

Choosing the MiDL Way

Recent articles from Barna, Alban and Gallup highlight a growing trend in young America — a deep desire to be engaged in activities that make a positive contribution to others and that yield immediate results.  We are witnessing a shift from passivity to engagement — not a new phenomenon, but […]

Outgrowing the Church — Outgrowing God?

As I have been clearing files, I came across a very interesting conversation.  It is a one-on-one interview with a young Christian woman who has turned her back on “organized religion.”  I present an excerpt from it here verbatim, then offer a few personal reflections.  My portion of the conversation is in […]

Knocking on Our Doors (Those We Seek to Reach?)

Writers and researchers who look at “the state of the church” often fall into the erroneous and unhelpful fallacy of reducing our faith to the simplistic dualism of “churched” and “unchurched.”  This ignores the fact that many church members are Christian in name only, while a large and growing segment […]

The Latest Pewhaha: Faith in Flux

Like everything else in popular media, sensation sells when it comes to religion in the United States.  And also like the popular media, the product shared with the public is shaped to “make news.”  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Doesn’t really matter.  What matters is, how do we cut through all […]

The Power of POV

One day last month, I sat down and sifted through a mounting stack of articles on my desk.  I found a number of articles on ‘mega-churches’ all published within a few days of each other.  What was most striking was that they were saying incredibly different things.  USA Today talked […]

A Tale of Three Paradigms

Once upon a time, Christians in the United States rushed to build church buildings anywhere and everywhere they could — especially close to other churches who didn’t quite worship God the right way.  There was a flurry of competition, with new “independent,” “non-denominational,” “alternative” groups joining the mix each and […]

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 […]