The future of religion & study centers

If the believer is haunted by doubt, the unbeliever can be haunted by faith. . . . [And] what might stop people short—what might truly haunt them—will be encounters with religious communities who have punched skylights in our brass heaven.
— James K A Smith writing at Slate on the future of religion

You can read the rest here.

Now that Christian truth claims are found to be stranger and stranger by a culture more and more unfamiliar with them, we might find that friendship could be a necessary precursor to preaching - only our friends are going to have the time to find out what makes us tick. In Young Life, this is called earning the right to be heard.

Humans are creatures that worship, that cannot stop worshipping. All of our energetic enterprises of entertainment are marked by ceremony and extravagance, from our American Feast Day of Kris Kringle (with the accompanying astonishingly strange myth of a man from the North Pole satisfying the consumer longings of children everywhere) to NFL game day (where our modern gladiators barrel into an arena through fake smoke). This impulse does not evaporate in a secular age. The ongoing "relevance" of the Christian faith will hinge on the Christian community's ability to be a worshipping community, one into which a haunted stranger stumbles and decides to stay.