Secular Sabbath vs. Christian Traditions

Do the recent secular sabbath essays of Iyer and Roiphe mark a cultural shift in which today’s main advocates of “sabbath” consider it from a spiritual and decidedly not religious perspective?

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IS: Religious Communication and Digital Life

Since I have so much time on my hands, I’m taking an Independent Study this semester: Religious Communication & Digital Life. This will count as credit towards a MA in Communication at the Univ. of North Dakota, but mainly help deepen my understanding of the field of religious comm, particularly as it concerns cyberculture studies, […]

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Advice for the new blogger in 2012

They say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, that may be true, but I recently set up a WordPress blog for my dad. (For background, my father is the longtime pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee.) So I thought I’d write a few intro blogging tips and treats for my old […]

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Smartphones, Smart Pastor, Smart Church

Next time you see a group of young adults dining together at a restaurant, take a closer look at the table. Nine times out of ten, you’ll be able to glimpse at least one cell phone resting on the tablecloth or, just as likely, in someone’s hand. In many cases, multiple phones will dot the table as if they were part of the place settings. One might deduce that young people today have a medical condition causing indigestion unless they eat with their phones near at hand. Come to think of it, that’s dangerously close to the truth.

The dining scene hints at the fact that many youth and young adults today have a relationship with technology and social media that is core to their formation….

Here’s a list of five common phenomena among young people, and how the church might incorporate them into its worship, preaching, and communal life:

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Adam, Have Your Say: My Brush with the BBC

Blogging has opened many doors for me over the years. That’s not the reason I blog (see “Why I Blog”), but it’s a fun perk. Last week brought a special highlight. I received an email from a reporter at the BBC radio show, “World Have Your Say.” In light of Christopher Hitchens’ death, they were […]

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Bookstore Confession

I bought a book, then 5 minutes later found an identical cheaper one online using my smartphone, so I returned it. Was this wrong? I recently found myself at Barnes and Noble with quite the conundrum. The parking lot was crazy busy. The Nook booths up front were heaving with rabid present-seekers. The coffee shop […]

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Responding to Weiner’s “Americans: Undecided About God?

A pastor friend wrote me this weekend wondering my take on Eric Weiner’s recent NY Times Sunday Review Opinion piece. My friend wrote, “[Weiner] seeks a new, entrepreneurial religion, one that allows doubt and skepticism (yes please) but one, it seems that we control, create and manipulate (no thanks).” Read Wiener’s piece for yourself: “Americans: Undecided About […]

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Don’t take “Christ” out of Christmas, but get the tree out of the church

Christmas trees, in the current-day United States at least, do not have a clear connection to the Christian faith. So why put them in the sanctuary with the other symbols?

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Two Bits on American Exceptionalism

As I got a haircut this week, my stylist asked, “So, would you want to live abroad for a few years?” We had a lovely, fairly nuanced chat ranging into aspects of American exceptionalism. I love discussions of American exceptionalism because, if they are managed well, they get into some tricky issues rather quickly (much […]

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