Full, Not Busy

It turns out that December is a busy time for both pastors and professors. Pastors plan Advent services—often Sundays and Wednesdays—and, when Christmas Eve comes, the sermons pile up further. Professors have the end-of-semester duties of grading both final exams and final papers, plus there are more end-of-year deadlines than I care to count. When […]

5 Ways New Media Has Changed the Way I Think (and Write)

5) Lists get hits. Opine all you like about our short attention span and the decline of critical thinking, but there’s something about a top five or top ten list that entices people to read. So, I sometimes write posts with lists (like this one). But hey, it’s not just a new media thing: God […]

Election Day Communion & the Sacrament of Voting

Partisan politics separates us; Christ’s table unites us. Divisions into red and blue, voter blocs and turn-out machines cheapens us; the Lord’s Supper strengthens us. Yard signs, social media fights, and bumper stickers reduce us; in the bread and the wine Christ’s love is multiplied beyond our understanding.

Inspiration pinned: The rise of spiritual quotes on Pinterest

Rather than demeaning the shallow nature of most spiritual/religious Pinterest quotes, faith leaders should take a gander and try to discern what is going on with users beneath their clicks, pins, and likes. In fact, we might even start a trend ourselves. Here’s a few of my own, ready to be made sharable and rendered in fancy font: “The Spirit moves in mysterious ways…even online.”

On Evangelizing Nones, Vagina-gate, & Christian Bullies

Last week, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a study, “’Nones’ on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation.” This week, two related articles caught my eye. Ready for some unsupported, but perhaps helpful, connecting the dots? Here we go. For the full Pew study go here, but the stats should […]

Scrapping Sunday School? Faith Development Today

Last weekend I spoke on a panel for a congregation’s Task Force on Faith Development. The congregation is a strong one with a great history and vital programming for all ages. It’s also, of course, enmeshed in our culture and congregational leaders are increasingly aware that their current model of Christian education, worship, and discipleship training […]

New Media Project: “Twitter mob attacks religious studies professor”

It’s an honor to write a few posts for the New Media Project. If you don’t know their research and case studies on church life and new media, check it out today. Today’s post is entitled, “Twitter mob attacks religious studies professor” I’ve posted an excerpt below: Twitter mob attacks religious studies professor Adam Copeland, guest […]

Out of Touch Professors Like Me

It took about three weeks in my new post for me to feel like an out-of-touch academic. One afternoon last week I was sitting in my office about to send an email when I suddenly thought, “Oh no! I have no idea what’s happening in the church, ‘in real life’ ministry, right now.” It felt […]

Embracing the Ideal of the Liberal Arts College

The adjective liberal in the phrase, “the liberal arts,” means ‘freeing.’ The liberal arts are those studies which set the student free — free from prejudice and misplaced loyalties and free for service, wise decision making, community leadership, and responsible living.