The Common Good

mainline

Mainline Protestants: Vintage or Vibrant?

Who are the mainline Protestants today? Vintage Protestants? The VPCC — Vanishing Progressive Christian Church? The Legacy Church?

Half a century ago, the denominations under the mainline umbrella dominated the American faith landscape. Now, after decades of declining numbers, only about one in five U.S. adults identifies with a mainline denomination such as United Methodists, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), and American Baptists.

Could replacing the “mainline” name help stem the slide? The challenge came from scholar and Presbyterian pastor Carol Howard Merritt. Writing in the venerable Christian Century magazine, she called for a new brand that conveys her view of the mainline’s rising diversity and social justice leadership.

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What is Church 2.0?

Here is a condensed version of a workshop I offer on the concept of “Church 2.0.” I talk in it about the popularity of things like the “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” video and Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 Network of churches.

But while we can learn something from what these kinds of voices are saying and doing, we can also do this while still offering the world a more liberating theology and a radically inclusive community.

Watch the video of Christian's workshop inside the blog...

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Luci Shaw answers, "What is an Evangelical?"

2008-5-03 Luci orcas_1

The Christian world is broad and spacious, and within its circumference, like a large bowl holding a variety of colorful fish, swim a surprisingly diverse spectrum of believers. The secular media mistakenly seem to view "the evangelical movement" as a sort of monolithic structure akin to a well fortified garrison ranged to repel the attacks of "liberals" or "progressives" or "mainline churches." Or a right-wing political force often equated with Republicanism.

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How To Say Defiantly, 'I am Baptized!'

At the baptism of our Lord, heaven simply could not contain God Godself and God the Spirit who interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring a very important message.
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Glenn Beck Attacks Churches on Climate Change

I thought Glenn Beck must have moved on to other things, but the other night, he went back to his attack on social justice churches. This time the issue was climate change.
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A Step Toward Recovery from Our Oil Addiction

My mother taught her children never to "toot our own horn." So last year, when Sojourners became the first publication ever (so far as I know) to win the best general interest magazine awa
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Is Western Christianity Suffering From Spiritual Amnesia?

In the 1990s, I taught history and theology at an evangelical college, a place where the students were serious young Christians.
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Turning the Tables of White-European-Male-Privilege: 'Our' Tables, 'Their' Tables, and New Tables

[Read more of this blog conversation in response to the Sojourners article "
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How Obama's Faith Council Worked: Six Points of Consensus

As some of you may know, I served on President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for year one of his administration. Our one-year term is almost up, and yesterday we issued our final report to key members of the administration.
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Tell Glenn Beck: I'm a Social Justice Christian

Glenn Beck says Christians should leave churches that use the word "social justice." He says social justice is a code word for communism and Nazism.
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