New Grace Chapel Reading Circle on “Christianity in Crisis” by Andrew Sullivan

Just about every week I get asked what is up with our Reading Circle, when is the next one, what are we reading, what in the world is it?

Here’s the 101 and an invitation to participate in the next one that begins this week.

“Don’t call it a book club!” is the first thing you need to know about our Reading Circle. Book clubs are about the books, we’re about the conversations – see? And further, this time we’re not reading a book. We’re reading an essay by Andrew Sullivan that was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine last month called, “Christianity in Crisis.” Here’s the printer-friendly link.

Here’s an exert.
“… Christianity itself is in crisis. It seems no accident to me that so many Christians now embrace materialist self-help rather than ascetic self-denial, … even regular churchgoers have tuned out the hierarchy in embarrassment or disgust. Given this crisis, it is no surprise that the fastest-growing segment of belief among the young is atheism, which has leapt in popularity in the new millennium. Nor is it a shock that so many have turned away from organized Christianity and toward “spirituality,” co-opting or adapting the practices of meditation or yoga, or wandering as lapsed Catholics in an inquisitive spiritual desert. The thirst for God is still there. How could it not be, when the profoundest human questions-Why does the universe exist rather than nothing? How did humanity come to be on this remote blue speck of a planet? What happens to us after death?-remain as pressing and mysterious as they’ve always been?”

In my opinion, it’s a thought-provoking piece. I’ve already blogged about it as I found myself agreeing and disagreeing throughout. Like with all things, discussing it with others will be probably add and shift some of my thoughts on the piece and all that it relates to. Our Reading Circles are intended to create community and conversation by engaging how stories, ideas, and cultural trends intersect with our faith in Christ.

Many of us had a positive experience reading Don Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years together. I know I have thought about some of our conversations since the last gathering, especially on the parts that I did not connect with but where others did. And I’m confident this two-week circle and our summer circle will be beneficial as well.

If you are reading this outside of my church community, know your thoughts are welcomed too. I’m always up for a good conversation.  Feel free to comment/email/call me.
For those of you around the Grace Chapel, Metro Boston area, hope to see you in the Cafe after GC@Night.