Review: Heidi Campbell’s, “When Religion Meets New Media”

When I talk about new media in church contexts, the lens or framework people use as they speak of technology says a lot about the direction of the conversation. Some people, such as those who think the church should change to attract new younger members, praise technology for its amazing capabilities. Others, such as those suspicious that there is too much change in the church will speak of the deleterious effects of technology. Such conversations can become difficult to moderate, but the task will be easier for me now that I’ve read Heidi Campbell’s When Religion Meets New Media.

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A place we don’t recognize anymore

A current Minnesota Public Radio promotional clip includes short phrases from several politicians’ recent speeches. One of them is Mitt Romney saying, “If we don’t step up, our country is going to turn into something we can’t recognize anymore” (approximate quote from memory). On MPR the quote plays without any context re the larger speech, but even so, it has great resonance with me (resonance, in a “sure folks think that” sort of way, not an “I agree” way). In fact, it’s a handy quick lens to explore perspectives on change in church, society, and politics.

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The glory of repurposing space

Much of the tension in the second season of Downtown Abbey has to do with the fact that the great house has been turned into a respite care center for army officers. This novel use of the space, coupled with so many new people about, provides a wonderfully entertaining storyline. In a weird way, it’s […]

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Now THIS is Leadership

Whenever I hear Christians rushing to judgement, or spouting-off anger before they think through a response, I hope I’ll think of this exchange. Thank you, Jeff and Kevin, for modeling humble, open-minded, kind-hearted leadership….

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Review: Vincent Miller’s “Understanding Digital Culture”

As part of my Independent Study, “Religious Communication and Digital Life” this semester at UND, I recently read Vincent Miller’s “Understanding Digital Culture.” It turns out that it’s difficult to write a review with the audience of both professor and blog readers in mind, but I need to do this before I get it confused […]

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No Need for Church | The Christian Century

An essay of mine, “No Need for Church: Ministry with young adults in flux” is published in the Feb 8, 2012 edition of The Christian Century. A teaser is posted below, which is also available to all readers on the Century website. To read it in full, find a dead tree edition, or subscribe and […]

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Debating Religion & the Presidency

At last week’s Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNN in Jacksonville, Florida, a wonderful question was asked of the candidates: if elected, how would their religious beliefs affect their decisions as president.

I don’t mean to Monday morning quarterback — actually, yes I do, because this question is the sort of thing I think about a lot (from the discipleship angle, not the presidential one). So, with the benefit of plenty of time to think, I thought I’d take a stab at my own response.

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Sex on campus, the campaign trail, & in the classroom

Megan and I recently gave away four boxes of books and sold two others to secondhand book dealers. Taking old beloved books off our shelves was a painstaking process. Most of the books we ended up giving away were from college and seminary (if you were wondering: science books resell for a whole lot more […]

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Review: “On Our Way” edited by Dorothy Bass & Susan Briehl

The new book, On Our Way: Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life sums up my best hopes for how young adults might live well in today’s world. Because of that, I found the book both delightful and tragic at the same time since it calls us to think deeply about how we are living […]

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