Month: January 2009

Pew Foundation: How do you Rate Your Commmunity?

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they’re living in now — a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities, and Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati at the bottom.

Even though the survey shows that many Americans have a bit of wanderlust, it also finds that most are satisfied with where they live now. More than eight-in-ten rate their current communities as excellent, very good or good. People who have moved at least once (63%) and those who have lived in the same place all their lives (37%) are equally content with their current home.

Are you content with your community? Why or why not? A few more interesting stats:

  • By about two-to-one, they prefer to live in a hot-weather place over a cold-weather place.
  • On the food-and-drink front, a slight plurality would rather live in a place with more McDonald’s (43%) than one with more Starbucks (35%).
  • When it comes to community involvement, there is no difference among those who live in cities, suburbs, small towns or rural areas. About half of the residents in each place say they are involved, and half say they aren’t.

More here.

What is Gospel-centered?

I do not simply mean by ‘gospel-centered’ that ministry is to be doctrinally orthodox. Of course it must certainly be that. I am speaking more specifically. (1.) The gospel is “I am accepted through Christ, therefore I obey” while every other religion operates on the principle of “I obey, therefore I am accepted.” (2.) Martin Luther’s fundamental insight was that this latter principle, the principle of ‘religion’ is the deep default mode of the human heart. The heart continues to work in that way even after conversion to Christ. Though we recognize and embrace the principle of the gospel, our hearts will always be trying to return to the mode of self-salvation, which leads to much spiritual deadness, pride and strife, and ministry ineffectiveness. (3.) We must communicate the gospel clearly–not a click toward legalism and not a click toward license. Legalism/moralism is truth without grace (which is not real truth); relativism is grace without truth (which is not real grace). To the degree a ministry fails to do justice to both, it simply loses life-changing power.

Tim Keller, Advancing the Gospel into the 21st Century

My New Article on the Church

Resurgence is running a two-part article on the church:

In trying to communicate the church as community to my two-year-old son, I have changed the way I talk about church. Instead of telling him that we are “going to church,” I tell him that we are going to be with the church, to sing and eat with them. Once Christians repent of reducing church to buildings and programs and begin to cherish the people God has given them to live with, warts and all, community will increase.

Read the rest HERE.