By Kendra Flory
The Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College begins its 2021-2022 season with an evening course on “Christ, Culture, and God-talk for the Coming Church.” The course will be held online on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 5:30-7:30 p.m. (Central time) presented by Scott Holland of the Bethany Seminary faculty.
The statistics cannot be disputed about our shifting religious demographics in North America. We are not only witnessing the end of “white Christian America,” but a numerical spike of those who identify as “Nones”–those who no longer identify with a religious institution or denomination yet still profess faith, and the “Dones”–those who are finished with religion. At the same time, some sociologists of religion suggest the number of persons who confess they are “spiritual but not religious” is the fastest growing “religious” demographic in the United States.
Many are looking for new ways to name themselves and render God’s name in history. Our Anabaptist forebears composed a compelling theology for the 16th century as they exited the organized church. Our Pietist spiritual ancestors offered a creative corrective to Anabaptist visions and voices in the 17th and 18th centuries. Do we have an equally engaging God-talk for our 21st century cultural and spiritual contexts and possible coming church? We will explore this question together as we also ponder a meta-question that begs to be addressed in this season of church and culture wars: “What is the purpose of religion?”
Scott Holland is the Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture and director of Peace Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. He also directs Bethany’s growing programs in theopoetics and writing. He has pastored Church of the Brethren and Mennonite congregations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He writes and speaks about public theology in ecumenical and interfaith classrooms, congregations, and conferences.
Continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. During the registration process, you will have the opportunity to pay for CEUs and give an optional donation to the Ventures program.
To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.
— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson (Kan.) College.
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