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When Congregation-Based Activism Is…Complicated

Though most conservative Christian organizations, denominations, and congregations have abandoned explicitly homophobic rhetoric in their arguments against gay rights in their effort to craft a politically viable position, others have increased the volume (and, through social...
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The Reality Behind “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Question: I hear a lot about people being “spiritual, but not religious.” What does that mean? “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious” is a common refrain in contemporary conversations.  Many people seem eager to claim a connection with...
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Making a Megachurch: Hebron Baptist Church

Below is an extended quote from A Particular Place: Urban Restructuring and Religious Ecology in a Southern Exurb. The book outlines how two particular congregations grew in an area outside Atlanta. Notice how the author, Dr. Nancy Eiesland, describes the changes in the local...
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Lower Denominational Control: Effects of Changing Church Forms

Mark Chaves’ 2011 book, American Religion: Contemporary Trends, outlines a number of ways in which denominations have less and less control over individual congregations: 1 in 5 religious congregations in the United States are now unaffiliated (Chaves 2011). Moreover, 1 in...
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Growing Churches: Religious Vitality in Canada

A recent National Post article examines Protestant mega-congregations in Canada. Broadway Church, in Vancouver Canada, shuffles 2,000 congregants through churches on a given Sunday. The large, auditorium-esq sanctuary, modern music, and casually-dressed pastor give attenders the...
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The Power and Superiority of “Black Worship”

In Gerardo Marti’s book, Worship Across the Racial Divide, he discusses the life and vitality of a multiethnic congregation. One of his early findings is that many members of the congregation, particularly those who are not Black, assume that “black worship” is...
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