America's Four Gods

In their book, America's Four Gods, authors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader draw on the Baylor Religious Survey and Interview project to determine the extent to which people believe: 1) God loves the world; 2) God judges the world; and 3) God engages the world.

From this, they suggest that the American public can be split into four theological camps in terms of their belief about the nature of God:

1. The Authoritative God (a God who is both engaged and judgmental)

2. The Benevolent God (a God who is engaged, yet nonjudgmental)

3. The Critical God (a God who is judgmental but disengaged)

4. The Distant God (a God who is nonjudgmental and disengaged)

Which "God" is most popular?

According to the study:

1. 31% believe in an "authoritative" God.

2. 24% believe in a "benevolent" God.

3. 24% believe in a "distant" God.

4. 16% believe in a "critical" God.

5. 5% are atheists. Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

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2016 Cultural Update and Generation Z

The 2016 Church & Culture Conference was held on March 3 in Charlotte, NC, and then on a 3-city tour of the United Kingdom on 19-23 April. The 2016 Conference featured entirely new content, and the following are a brief overview of the plenary sessions that are being offered through the ChurchAndCulture.org website:

Session 1 - "2016 Cultural Update and Generation Z"
The largest generation in recent history, Generation Z, is also the first generation to emerge entirely from a post-Christian context. It is unlike any generation preceding it, and demands a revolution in approach. This session introduces Generation Z, and the way they will challenge old wineskins.

Session 2 - "Keeping a Prophetic Voice Without Losing an Evangelistic One"
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing church leaders is learning how to bring the gospel to bear on a culture that is far from God. Specifically, how do we speak to the key issues of the day where public opinion is far from biblical truth? We know we want to bring grace to bear, but how do we simultaneously bring truth in a way that is both winsome and compelling? This session will examine how to speak to "hot topics" and essential (but often unpopular) doctrine in ways that connect with a post-Christian culture.

Session 3 - "Question & Answer Session"
This combines the 3 sessions of Q&A that took place over the course of the day at the Charlotte conference. A variety of topics were addressed through these sessions.

For those wondering about the session on Children's Ministry, we found that because of the number of live presentation elements incorporated into this session it did not translate well for an mp3 recording.

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