Posts Tagged ‘ dissertation ’

Reading: A Habit I’ve Returned To

Yesterday, I spent a few minutes updating my Books page. Over the past few weeks, I seem to have gotten my reading mojo back, after a pretty long hiatus. After a few years of reading like mad for school, I was forced to basically stop reading in order to focus on writing my doctoral dissertation, which took most of my time between August 2008 and March 2009. Once I crossed that finish line, I went almost completely dormant in the literary sense. I’m not sure if it was burnout, but I apparently felt the need for a break. I read very little in what remained of 2009. Even while flying all over the world, spending a ridiculous amount of time on airplanes, I only managed to read one book on my smart phone’s Kindle app. But as quickly as my book lust went away, it seems to have returned. This […]



Quick Take Review: The Next Evangelicalism

Last week I got a chance to sit down with a book that’s been getting a bit of buzz in the circles I run in.  It’s called The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church From Western Cultural Captivity, by Soong-Chan Rah.  I believe it’s a very important book, and one that I hope will find its way onto many seminary course readings lists – and not just in specialty classes like “Multi-cultural Worship.”  Rah has some good words to share, but they will be put to best use in a broad marketplace. The book is an uncomfortable read, especially for a white midle class USAmerican dude.  I have attempted to sensitize myself and the people I have influence with to issues of race, power, and control, but I know I’ve fallen well short of ideal.  There’s still a lot more to be done in my own heart, as well as in […]



Dissertate this! pt. 3

O.k., so I’ve mentioned the fact that there are major movements of growth in Christianity around the world – well, except for the Western world, where Christianity is in a bit of decline lately.  I’ve mentioned that these movements are taking place at a time in which globalization is changing everything.  One interesting thing to note as a backdrop to these discussions is the fact that globalization and Christianity have gone hand in hand for hundreds of years by now. Back in pre-Reformation Christianity, when the Church of Christendom ruled the day, explorers set sail to find new trade routes and new lands in which to trade.  They typically went with the blessing (and/or military backing) of their homeland.  When they encountered new people groups, they developed “trade partnerships” with swords and spears in hand.  They colonized these places and subdued them through physical force and intimidation.  Another of the […]



Dissertate This! pt. 2

Here’s my second post taking a trip through the dissertation that kept me busy over the past few years.  In my previous post, I talked about the rapid spread of Christianity in the global South and East, even at the same time as there has been a noted downturn in Christian practice here in the Western world.  While asking questions about what “we” in the West can learn from our sisters and brothers in other contexts, I thought it was also important to address one of the essential realities of our time – globalization.  <PAUSE: I just got THE biggest guilty pleasure inserting that link for globalization – the link is to Wikipedia.  Citing Wikipedia as a source in academia is a major no-no, so I had to do it here for kicks> Thomas Friedman brought the topic of globalization to the masses in his book The World is Flat, […]



The Church You Didn't Know About

I’m not sure exactly how to go about this, but this post represents my first attempt at blogging about my dissertation.  I can’t say how many posts I’ll use to write about this, or how frequently I will do so.  I’ll start with some general framing words, though. When I began the process of research and writing, I was intrigued by the possible implications of some of the writings done by a Penn State University professor, Philip Jenkins.  I had recently read his book, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.  In it, he gives a lot of data that proves a surprising fact: there are currently more Christians in the non-Western world than there are in the West, which has always been considered as the home of Christianity.  The past few decades have witnessed an explosion in the number of Christians in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  All […]



Happy New Year

Hi all.  I know it’s been extremely quiet ’round here lately.  As I try to tie up loose ends on my doctoral dissertation, that’ll probably persist for the next several weeks.  However, just in case I decided that one of my New Year’s Resolutions for the year is to blog daily, I figured I should go ahead and post something!  Just kidding. 2008 was a wild ride in many ways.  I’d do a year in review, but hey, that’s what the archives are for.  Looking back, I’ve made some very good friends in the past year, gone deeper with other friends, and been stretched in some important ways.  I’m looking forward to 2009 – there are still way more questions than answers about what this year is likely to have in store. I’ll try to have more fun on the ‘ol blog this year.  Maybe I’ll change my layout, throw […]