Prophets of the Digital Divine

On Being Human in Our Techno-Religious Future

In the scientific world, in particular, the subject of the techno-human—what it means to be human in a world of increasing technological complexity and integration with human life, including our bodies—is more prevalent than ever. But the impact of the technologization of the human being is also increasingly felt throughout almost every social, cultural, and academic... Read more

Enhancing Ministry beyond the Congregation

Social Science and Spiritual Care

American religious and spiritual life is changing. The number of Americans who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” when asked about religion in national surveys is growing—from 16% to 21% between 2007 and 2014. The number of adults who identify as Christian is declining across a range of demographic groups. While a majority of... Read more

Playing Games with God

How Games Play Us, Stories Tell Us, and Faith Lives Us

It’s all a game. These are not the words that the demands of our time might seem to merit. With the world on fire and political turmoil having become the constantly unsettling norm, we know that the church is being called to action in ways many of us had not imagined even ten or fifteen years ago. Sitting in my office in a suburb of Oxford toiling away at my studies,... Read more

Playing Chicken with Care for the Earth

Why I Wonder about Wonder-Filled Approaches to Environmental Crisis

On Saturday, members of the congregation gathered to unpack our stuff into a new space. Gathered in the fellowship hall during a break in our activity came the specific and anxious question, “Who is going to make the coffee for hospitality hour after worship?” Embedded in the question was the asker’s intention to no longer be the only one who did it, and concern... Read more

Getting into the Weeds

Separation of Church and State is No Excuse for Separating Communities of Faith from Political Concerns

Because of my academic training and religious history, and because I am a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist, I come to a view of Christian faith and church life that is steeped in questions of religious liberty, the separation of church and state, and the acceptable role of the church in politics. In examining the modern American history of thought on this question,... Read more

Can Churches Build when the Walls Seem to Be Falling Down?

Creating New Imagination to Restore the Heart of Today's Church

This past January, the church I pastor, Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, had its own “come to Jesus” moment during our Annual Church Meeting.  I had done my due diligence all year — studying the latest data regarding church growth trends and reading articles that examined societal shifts impacting congregations across the country.  Not much... Read more

God was a Refugee

Finding the Beating Heart of Ministry in the Incarnation

Reina had walked for more than 20 days, in the rain and cold and mud. Grief-stricken after the loss of her son, she walked with one destination in mind: a country she hoped would be her safe-harbor, a new beginning, free from the fear and the violence she had known. She walked with thousands of others to find safety in numbers. She wasn’t trying to make a statement... Read more

Where does the Religion Classroom Begin?

Cultivating Religious Literacy at Home, School, Church and World

During Advent 2018, my 10-year-old—“Kiddo”—asked a series of specific questions that kicked off a 3-hour re-examination of a fundamental question at stake in the “religion as education” landscape: where does the religion classroom begin?  A quick scan of a park, Facebook, the gym, LinkedIn, or even Tinder spotlights the place of education in social interaction.... Read more

Where Can I Run To?

Creating Sacred Space as a Black Woman

The 1990s R&B girl group, Xscape, has a famous song entitled “Who Can I Run To?” The song discusses the complexity of whom to rely on when one needs love. I can relate. I entered my thirties this year full of hope, only to be hit with three significant losses in a six-month time span. I lost the love of my life, then my job, and then my father passed. It... Read more

Don’t Fence Us In!

And Other Lessons Learned from the Real Lives of College Students

Do this. Don’t do that. Spend your time this way. Pray this way. Believe this. Reject that. This is the kind of rigidity that young people like me cannot stand when it comes to religion. We just don’t get it. Indeed, although many would probably not say so outright, my hunch is that there is an underlying assumption among the increasing population of nonreligious... Read more
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