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Quitting Church: A Q&A with Julia Duin

posted by Patton Dodd

Why do people stop going to church? This big question is the subject of Julia Duin’s small book, Quitting Church: Why teh Faithful are Fleeing and What To Do About It. Duin is not a disinterested observer of the phenomenon […]

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Rob Stennett vs. Marilynne Robinson

posted by Patton Dodd

I’m overjoyed that my good friend Rob Stennett has won the Award of Merit from Christianity Today for his novel The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher. (Here’s CT’s review of the book.) Stennett’s hilarious book is about a real […]

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Best Religious Books of 2008

posted by Patton Dodd

All Beliefnet bloggers are offering their picks for the best books on religion in 2008. Here are my top 5: Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by N.T. Wright I interviewed Wright about […]

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Anne Rice takes your questions

posted by Patton Dodd

Former-vampire novelist Anne Rice has to be one of the most fascinating public converts to Christianity we’ve seen in a great while, not least because she is being so open about how she moved from atheism to Catholicism and, from […]

Who said it?

posted by Patton Dodd

“Christianity…is a perpetual breeding ground for violence, abuse, superstition, war, discrimination, tyranny, and pride. Religion and spirituality is a bottomless pit breeding illusion, deceit, and oppression.”  Post your guess below. The answer appears after the jump (no peeking before you […]

The Bible retold by Jonathan Goldstein and James Frey(!)

posted by Patton Dodd

As a fan of Bible retellings–songs, novels, poems, films, etc that reimagine Bible stories in some way–I was heartened by something I heard on This American Life this weekend: Jonathan Goldstein, a tAL producer and contributor and the author of […]

Lost Christianity: A Q&A with Philip Jenkins

posted by Patton Dodd

I was introduced to Philip Jenkins‘ work several years ago through his Atlantic cover story, “The Next Christianity.” There, Jenkins explained that the center of global Christianity was shifting to the southern hemisphere. In The Next Christendom and the two related titles that […]

Cultivators and Creators: An Interview with Andy Crouch

posted by Patton Dodd

Andy Crouch’s Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling is the Christian book of the year–its Publisher’s Weekly nod for best religion book won’t be its last. The concept of “culture” has been something of a snare for American Christians–we’ve critiqued culture […]

Good questions from Culture Making

posted by Patton Dodd

Today’s blogged excerpt from Andy Crouch’s book at the Culture-Making site asks urgent, necessary questions. Forget about the election, and ponder this: If we believe that God is still on the move in human cultures, then our most basic questions […]

Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks

posted by Patton Dodd

One of the most unshakeable reading experiences I’ve had in the last year is Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge. Taking a cue from Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, […]

Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks

posted by Patton Dodd

One of the most unshakeable reading experiences I’ve had in the last year is Don Lattin’s Jesus Freak: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge. Taking a cue from Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, […]

Soft Pre-Launch

posted by Patton Dodd

The sidebar over yonder tells you all you need to know about the readiness of this here blog. I have not had time this week to get things up and running as they should be (and just think of all […]

Previous Posts

The Last Text Message
Today is my last day with Beliefnet, and my last day as the author of this blog. The Text Messages archives will remain live at this location, but posting will cease. If that sounds gloomy, it's an accurate reflection of my mind this ...

posted 3:47:12pm Feb. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Quitting Church: A Q&A with Julia Duin
Why do people stop going to church? This big question is the subject of Julia Duin's small book, Quitting Church: Why teh Faithful are Fleeing and What To Do About It. Duin is not a disinterested observer of the phenomenon of church-dropping; ...

posted 4:03:51pm Feb. 03, 2009 | read full post »

Rob Stennett vs. Marilynne Robinson
I'm overjoyed that my good friend Rob Stennett has won the Award of Merit from Christianity Today for his novel The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher. (Here's CT's review of the book.) Stennett's hilarious book is about a real estate agent who ...

posted 2:36:44pm Jan. 30, 2009 | read full post »

What is spiritual restoration?
Slate asked for an essay on Ted Haggard's spiritual restoration. I'm okay with what I came up with for now, but the more I think about it, the more I think we need better thinking on what restoration looks like for very public, outspoken, ...

posted 9:00:56am Jan. 29, 2009 | read full post »

It's Not TV; it's Ted TV
A blog might not be the best medium for an essay like this. But I want to offer some more considered thoughts on Ted Haggard and his HBO documentary; I hope this performs some kind of service in a story that I hope will end--in its public ...

posted 3:57:44am Jan. 28, 2009 | read full post »

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