26 February 2014

Evangelism, Anxiety, and False Choices

Jane Trimm posted an article today at MSNBC about the flood of millenials leaving the church and a possible reason why:  
A full 31% of young people (ages 18 to 33) who left organized religion said “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” of gay people was a “somewhat important” or “very important” factor in their departure, as surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute. A strong majority (58%) of Americans also said religious groups are “alienating” young people by “being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues.” A full 70% of young people said the same.
Disturbing news, of course.  But then the article presented the reader with this survey: 
Do you think churches will change their policies on gays and lesbians to appeal to young people? 
o   Yes, churches will adapt to a new generation.
o   No, they will stick to their values.
o   I’m not sure
Articles like this make me want to scream in frustration.  It’s obvious that the writer has no understanding of the wide array of churches that are all over the place on human sexuality, and that’s both her failing and ours. 

07 February 2014

A Sermon Double Feature! (ask your grandparents, kids)

2014 in Books: January

Here's the list of books I've read in 2013, updated monthly (more or less), for fun or for some sort of edification, professional or otherwise. 

Recommended titles are in bold, and formats are +(Kindle/eBook), *(audio/iPod).

*1.  The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
*2.  How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
*3.  Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
4.  Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 4) by C.S. Lewis
+5.  Eat, Sleep, Ride:  How I Braved Bears, Badlands and Big Breakfasts In My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide by Paul Howard
*6.  The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy.

This is why...

First, you get a question.  "What is God's will for my life?" or "Are my parents really in purgatory" or "What about babies who die before they are baptized?" or "What about all those people who lived before Jesus was born?" or any one of a number of questions you get when you wear the funny shirt with the little white tab in the middle.