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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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What is spiritual restoration?

posted by Patton Dodd

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 […]

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Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

posted by Patton Dodd

That’s the apt headline over the New York Times Magazine’s profile of Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll. Fascinating story, not least because there is so much theology in it–Molly Worthen does a commendable job of summarizing Driscoll’s neo-Calvinism and capturing how […]

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There’s No Sex Ed in Seminary

posted by Patton Dodd

So says a report released today. Seminarians might be having it, but they aren’t talking about it. The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing surveyed 36 seminaries and rabbinical schools, and found that ministers-to-be are woefully under-prepared for […]

How do you choose a church?

posted by Patton Dodd

We’ve just published an essay written by the priest at the Anglican church I attend, Holy Trinity Anglican. It’s an Anglican Mission in the Americas church, which is part of the African-American conservative Anglican movement that is splitting from the […]

Do Ed Young’s sex sermons speak to singles?

posted by Patton Dodd

The most emailed article at the New York Times right now is about Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Texas and his much-discussed sermon series on sex. As part of the series, he challenged all the married couples in his […]

Rob Bell’s 4 priorities for churches

posted by Patton Dodd

Relevant asks, “What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?” Pastor Bell answers: 1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.  […]

John Piper: Vote as if not voting

posted by Patton Dodd

John Piper’s engaged asceticism is timely advice for American Christians who are worshipping at the altar of patriotism and the electoral process. I wish he’d emphasize that “Godward purposes” are, in fact, a call to deal with the world in […]

Daniel Clark’s culture shock

posted by Patton Dodd

Last Friday, I was working at Wisdom Tea House (a dream of a place) when my friend Daniel Clark came in to join me for the afternoon. “30 hours ago I was in a jungle,” he said as he sat […]

While We Wait for ‘Culture Making’…

posted by Patton Dodd

Coming soon in this space: an interview with Andy Crouch on his invaluable new book, Culture Making. Andy’s book is one of the wisest books on the subject of culture I’ve ever read, and it’s the single best work on […]

Hindu Threat to Christians – Convert or Flee – NYTimes.com

posted by Patton Dodd

Must reading: Today’s Times has a report on the persecution of Christians in India. The photo above shows Christian refugees praying at a camp in Bhubaneshwar. It’s harrowing, harrowing stuff. An excerpt below, followed by a prayer. God help them:  A few […]

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, […]

If it’s happening in Colorado Springs…

posted by Patton Dodd

Brandon Fibbs, a longtime Colorado Springs resident, political junkie, movie reviewer for Christianity Today, and current DC resident, reads Timothy Egan’s recent blog post on cultural and political shifts in Colorado Springs and adds some observations of his own: I […]

Dick Staub – “The Islam I Know”

posted by Patton Dodd

I admire Dick Staub a lot, and a few years ago had the pleasure of signing books in his company when we both had titles out from the same publisher and were joined in a conference booth. He’s hilarious and smart. […]

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 […]

So You Think Christians Can’t Dance? (still testing 123)

posted by Patton Dodd

One reason I love my church: We hardly ever do offertory hymns like this.

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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