The Privilege of Belonging

One weekend this fall my husband and I flew to New Mexico. One of our twin sons is a college junior in Santa Fe, and we find that the 2,500 miles between us pulls at our heartstrings. Parents’ Weekend offered us a legitimate pretense for visiting. This particular son, our picky eater, has grown up to be a foodie. With the parents in town to foot the bill, he... Read more

Addicted to Certainty

It was the third and final night of our church’s annual revival and, despite the guest evangelist’s renowned theatrics, the prospect of disappointment loomed over the event like a dark cloud. The previous two nights had produced only a single convert—the seven-year-old son of one of our deacons, who'd walked the aisle, tears staining his cheeks, after a particularly... Read more

Rethinking Church, Communally and Creatively

I spend a curious amount of time discussing, studying, and writing about polity—the structures and procedures of congregational/denominational governance. As other theologians and sociologists of religion speculate about the decline, revival, or re-emergence of Christianity and the church, I focus on how emerging congregations organize themselves and structure... Read more

The Bible in One Hand, Beer in the Other

How to Make Oktoberfest Holy

Autumn is the best season. I love it all: gorgeous leaves, crisp temperatures, flannel fresh from the closet, and, if you’re into that sort of thing, pumpkin spice lattes. There’s so much to love this time of year, but my absolute favorite marker of the season is Oktoberfest beer. A few weeks ago, when I saw the first Oktoberfest display in my local liquor store... Read more