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Mainline Churches

Does Declining Membership Mean God Thinks You Suck?

Derek Penwell | Posted 09.09.2014 | Religion
Derek Penwell

The goal of following Jesus has never been the kind of growth that satisfies the ecclesiastical bean counters anyway; it's about doing what you believe -- were he to find himself in the same position -- Jesus might do.

What If the Church Took Millennials Seriously?

Derek Penwell | Posted 02.10.2014 | Religion
Derek Penwell

If mainline denominations have taken a nosedive in membership, money, and influence (which they have), and if you want a chance to figure out why (which I do), it seems like a good thing to start looking at the age demographic where the losses have been heaviest.

Scholars of Religion Gather for Annual Meeting

Reverend Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young | Posted 01.25.2014 | Religion
Reverend Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young

Six years ago at the AAR/SBL it amazed me that no one was talking about declining participation in American Christianity. Now I feel like we are part of a larger conversation about how the church can reach a new generation.

Mainline Churches: Past, Present, Future

William B. Bradshaw | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
William B. Bradshaw

What is in store for the Mainline Protestant churches, as well as for the more evangelical, fundamentalist, and/or charismatic Protestant denominations and independent churches? Reason might suggest that both groups should move a little to the religious middle.

Mainline Protestantism: Numbers Count, But Prestige Matters More

Elesha Coffman | Posted 06.08.2013 | Religion
Elesha Coffman

It's useful to recall this longstanding association between the Protestant mainline and the Christian intelligentsia as stories enumerating mainline decline pile up.

Humanism's Moment of Opportunity, Going to Waste

Clay Farris Naff | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Clay Farris Naff

The evidence is in, and it is clear: New Atheists have been a media success and a societal failure.

An Invitation To Rob Bell

Greg Carey | Posted 05.06.2013 | Religion
Greg Carey

Bell doesn't have to call himself a liberal or anything else, short of lover of Jesus. But it might be wise to reach out in a new way to people who have been his partners even before he preached his first sermon.

Jesus: The Very Human, Very Single Savior

Rev. Michelle L. Torigian | Posted 12.27.2012 | Religion
Rev. Michelle L. Torigian

Christianity often forgets that our main man was a single, 30-something-year-old man. While his family was still a part of his life, his central support system was his friends and followers. So why is there such a large disconnect between single young adults and Mainline Protestantism?

'Nones' On The Rise: How Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Churches Are Creating Their Own Demise

Michelangelo Signorile | Posted 12.15.2012 | Gay Voices
Michelangelo Signorile

I've always felt we religiously unaffiliated "Nones" were a tiny minority. But here we are, surging in an America that's been steeped in religious dogma, where Republican politics has been overrun by zealots hellbent on controlling women's bodies and discriminating against gays.

Saving Christianity Through Love Of God And Neighbor

Danielle Tumminio | Posted 09.15.2012 | Religion
Danielle Tumminio

The trouble has nothing to do with lacking biblical grounding. It has nothing to do with lacking an identity. The trouble comes with putting these theological tenets into practice.

The Religious Right (Side Of History)

Rev. Emily C. Heath | Posted 09.15.2012 | Religion
Rev. Emily C. Heath

We talk a lot about the power of the religious right to negatively influence the fate of LGBT civil rights, but we are talking about the wrong religious right there. What LGBT people need now is not more of the religious right.

Diversity Rising: Mormons, Nondenominational Churches, Muslims Spreading Out Across U.S.

David Briggs | Posted 07.02.2012 | Religion
David Briggs

The U.S. religious landscape is shifting, and no one may be more thankful than GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. The spread of Latter-day Saints across the nation has paved the way for a Romney run.

Creating A New Progressive Ecumenical Church Relationship

Rev. Chuck Currie | Posted 07.02.2012 | Religion
Rev. Chuck Currie

I simply do not believe that at this point in time the distinctiveness of our different churches is more important than the values and common understandings of Scripture that unite us.

Do We Need Pluralistic Politics Deeply Informed By Faith?

Christopher Cocca | Posted 06.16.2012 | Religion
Christopher Cocca

Why is it that advocacy positions influenced by deeply held religious beliefs about poverty, hunger, disease, human dignity and related issues are seldom, if ever, critiqued from the left?

Trayvon Martin And The Muted Voice of the Mainline Church

Rev. Larry Hollon | Posted 06.05.2012 | Religion
Rev. Larry Hollon

My friend was troubled by the apparent silence of the churches. In fact, this was a misperception born of the lack of visibility of the leaders in the mainline tradition who had spoken out.

Killing the Church by Denigrating the Immediacy of God

Eliot Daley | Posted 11.30.2011 | Religion
Eliot Daley

We are smothering God. And our church. We're engaged in an unholy combination of implicit theocide and communal suicide.

My Job Offer For Millennials

Steve Knight | Posted 08.19.2011 | Religion
Steve Knight

Programs like this are really a partnership between generations. Millennials get to imagine a new kind of Christian community, while older generations get to see their legacy live on.

Religion And AIDS At 30

Diane Winston | Posted 08.07.2011 | Religion
Diane Winston

Many news outlets marked the 30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS with stories on the medical and scientific aspects of the disease. But was religion mentioned?

Jim Bakker and the Counterfeit Hell Robbers

Daniel Krotz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Daniel Krotz

The point is not that Televangelists are scoundrels, or that many Christian pastors are hypocrites, but that these grand ministry failures represent examples of what many mainstream churches have, in desperation, come to believe is relevant.

The Mainline Church: A Confusing Yet Hopeful Future

Rev. Peter M. Wallace | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Rev. Peter M. Wallace

The future is uncertain, but I'm convinced that there is a future for the essence of mainline Christianity -- a healthy, meaningful future that will continue to play a role both in society and in the hearts and minds of individuals.

Gay Rights and the Presbyterian Church

Carol Howard Merritt | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Carol Howard Merritt

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has worked on the behalf of the poverty issues, civil rights, elderly rights, environmental causes, and feminist issues. Now, that yarn is rainbow colored, and we intend to prevail in this struggle as well.

Gay Clergy: God's Spirit at Work?

Rev. Peter M. Wallace | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Rev. Peter M. Wallace

It seems that once the issue of gay clergy has been resolved, usually after decades of wrangling, the denominations (or what's left of them, anyway) begin to experience a new freedom and energy to pursue their mission.

GOOD And Column Five Media Map Distribution Of Income By Religious Belief

GOOD | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion

This transparency takes a look at the income levels of America's major religious groups, as compared to the average U.S. income distribution. ...

Remembering My Battle Against Fundamentalists

Jim Luce | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Jim Luce

Our biggest accomplishment was standing up for those torn down by the TV evangelists.

A Church of Misfits

Jim Wallis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Wallis

After years of decline and decay in mainline churches across the country, the vision of revival and renewal is clear.