Modern Cloister: Future of Community

Modern-Cloister-NEW

I was out of town last week, so this is a little old, but the most recent Modern Cloister Podcast is up and live. We continue out series in Community and discuss the future of community. Most of it is speculation, but also following various trends. A week or so ago, a Gallup survey came out that shows that church membership dropped below the 50% threshold for the first time since they have tracked. It is worth noting that it is not the lowest in US history, most Historians peg Colonial to pre-Great Awakening membership to something like 20-30%. The survey points to many of the things we discussed in out Decline of Community podcast, such as the rise in the 30’s and the peak in the 50’s, with major changes come in the 70’s and 80’s. They also have a few speculations about the future, and the implications.

I personally do not believe we will drop to the 10% mark in other post-Christian democracies, mostly due to immigration; however, a return to the pre-revival American age of 20-30% seems imminent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those levels be 2050. We will talk in the next Pod about how we believe Covid will accelerate the trends of the declince.

An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021 Modern Cloister

In this episode, we share an update on what's been happening with the Modern Cloister podcast along with our plans for 2022. We also run through our favorite books from 2021 for anyone looking for ideas for Christmas gifts or their own reading lists for 2022.  Books mentioned in the episode: New Testament In Its World  How Shall We Worship? Worship Matters Writing Worship Reformation Anglican Worship To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism The Wisdom Pyramid How To Read the Psalms Learning To Love The Psalms The Five Solas Series: God’s Word Alone The Five Solas Series: Grace Alone The Five Solas Series: Faith Alone The Five Solas Series: Christ Alone The Five Solas Series: God’s Glory Alone Five Views on Inerrancy Two Views on Women in Ministry Heart of Darkness A Brief History of Time Rediscover Church LEAD On The Incarnation Evangelical Theology A Christmas Carol Remember to rate, review and subscribe to be the first to get our newest episodes! And connect with us to share your thoughts and feedback at moderncloister@gmail.com. 
  1. An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021
  2. Wisdom and Kingship In The Psalms
  3. Confidence and Remembrance In The Psalms
  4. Lament and Confession In The Psalms
  5. Praise and Thanksgiving In the Psalms

Modern Cloister: Decline of Community

Modern-Cloister-NEW

In this week’s episode, we discuss the decline of community in America. This is probable most famously captured in the book, Bowling Alone. The changes in communal life in general had two major impacts on Christians, first the pursuit of individualism and consumer focused churches leads to over an overall decline Christian community, second the decline of each lead to a broader decoupling of church culture and American culture. I should note that when we think of 50’s American culture and Christianity, we are talking about White Protestant Americans. I know that leaves many people out, especially black people and Catholics, but the sad fact of American life (as far as culture shaping) and politics of the time is that these groups specifically were excluded (think segregation and the controversy of JFK being Catholic). 

Our last episode discussed the history of Christian community, and today’s is still a little but of history, but it is a turning point that brings major change and will lead us into our next episode of where we are today. We’ll have one more offshoot episode, on the impacts of Covid, to wrap up the series. You can find us on all the major platforms (if you are on one that doesn’t have it, let me know) or listen to it here or on my Modern Cloister page from the tabs at the top. 

 

An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021 Modern Cloister

In this episode, we share an update on what's been happening with the Modern Cloister podcast along with our plans for 2022. We also run through our favorite books from 2021 for anyone looking for ideas for Christmas gifts or their own reading lists for 2022.  Books mentioned in the episode: New Testament In Its World  How Shall We Worship? Worship Matters Writing Worship Reformation Anglican Worship To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism The Wisdom Pyramid How To Read the Psalms Learning To Love The Psalms The Five Solas Series: God’s Word Alone The Five Solas Series: Grace Alone The Five Solas Series: Faith Alone The Five Solas Series: Christ Alone The Five Solas Series: God’s Glory Alone Five Views on Inerrancy Two Views on Women in Ministry Heart of Darkness A Brief History of Time Rediscover Church LEAD On The Incarnation Evangelical Theology A Christmas Carol Remember to rate, review and subscribe to be the first to get our newest episodes! And connect with us to share your thoughts and feedback at moderncloister@gmail.com. 
  1. An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021
  2. Wisdom and Kingship In The Psalms
  3. Confidence and Remembrance In The Psalms
  4. Lament and Confession In The Psalms
  5. Praise and Thanksgiving In the Psalms

Introducing the Modern Cloister

Modern-Cloister-NEW

On Twitter the other day I saw someone say, ‘at this point, I need you to list that you don’t have a podcast’. I guess I can no longer say that. Mrs. MMT has convinced me to start a podcast. We are calling it the Modern Cloister, and homage/play on Martin Luther’s Black Cloister (now mostly called Lutherhaus). You can go here for a really good write up of life in the Black Cloister, or here for a shorter article about the history of the ‘home’ (or both to get a better understanding). Our first episode, Welcome to the Modern Cloister, also touches on this history, how we chose the name, and our goals for the podcast.

 Our second episode, A History of Christian Community, the first episode in four part series on Christian Community. In this episode, we discuss community in the Old and New Testaments, the early Christian church, and then in ‘Christendom’, which brings us up to the modern age. It has a little more history and a little less discussion than the others in the series, because of the ground work that needs to be laid. Our next episodes in the series are about the current state of community, the future, and then the impact of Covid. 

We plan to release on the first and third Sundays of the month. The goal is to mostly do series, but there may be one off episodes as well. Also, towards the end of the month, we will do a review episode of events that happened that month. We have already started our next series. You can find us a Modern Cloister, we aren’t yet on all the players, but once we are, please subscribe. We are also on YouTube, and I’ve posted a player below, if you like listening at work on your computer. Hope you enjoy, would really appreciate any feedback. 

An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021 Modern Cloister

In this episode, we share an update on what's been happening with the Modern Cloister podcast along with our plans for 2022. We also run through our favorite books from 2021 for anyone looking for ideas for Christmas gifts or their own reading lists for 2022.  Books mentioned in the episode: New Testament In Its World  How Shall We Worship? Worship Matters Writing Worship Reformation Anglican Worship To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism The Wisdom Pyramid How To Read the Psalms Learning To Love The Psalms The Five Solas Series: God’s Word Alone The Five Solas Series: Grace Alone The Five Solas Series: Faith Alone The Five Solas Series: Christ Alone The Five Solas Series: God’s Glory Alone Five Views on Inerrancy Two Views on Women in Ministry Heart of Darkness A Brief History of Time Rediscover Church LEAD On The Incarnation Evangelical Theology A Christmas Carol Remember to rate, review and subscribe to be the first to get our newest episodes! And connect with us to share your thoughts and feedback at moderncloister@gmail.com. 
  1. An Update From Us + Our Favorite Books of 2021
  2. Wisdom and Kingship In The Psalms
  3. Confidence and Remembrance In The Psalms
  4. Lament and Confession In The Psalms
  5. Praise and Thanksgiving In the Psalms

Stuff from last week

I haven’t been posting much recently, partly due to time and partly due to disinclination, but last week a came across a few things I found interesting, that I thought I’d share. The plan was for it to go up on Friday, but the Monday Morning Wife and I had our 10th Anniversary and I got distracted.

Russell Moore spoke on The Gospel Coalition Podcast about the obstacles of religious liberty. Depending on your perspective, it’s not what you think. I thought the points he makes about us looking too much for the government to help us and enforce our view of morality were really good; though he does fail to note the painful irony that some of the biggest pushers for ‘religious liberty’ and government enforced morality are often the most ardent anti-government.

Somewhat related, Theocast talks about losing a generation at church. I’m less concerned than most people, though probably not concerned enough, because I think it is inevitable. We were never a ‘Christian Nation’, whatever that means, but for the most of our history, we’ve been a solidly Christian culture, but we aren’t any more. This means we are shedding some of the cultural only hanger’s on. I guess I should care more, but I don’t.

The other thing that stuck out to me about this particular episode was the lack of political honesty. There is one quick mention/jab about not agree with ‘they younger people’ and their politics, but no real discussion about the impact politics has played on losing more and more young people. When I was growing up, Monica Lewinsky was the worst thing ever, a national moral tragedy. Many of the same people publicly deriding Clinton are now, 20 years later, some of the most vocal supporters of Trump. A democrat being immoral is cause for massive public outcry, but these people really don’t seem to give a shit how many hookers and pornstars a republican bangs. All these leaders have traded in the Gospel of Christ of the promise of power from Christian Nationalism, and we are the lost generation?

I could go on and on about this, because it pisses me off so, but if the ‘church’ keeps acting like questioning the Moral Majority or St. Ronnie is blasphemy, and cannot have adult conversations about political issues such as healthcare, minimum wage, income inequality, etc. without resorting to beating up tired old strawmen or just screaming ‘socialism’, we are going hemorrhage anyone under 65 faster than we can imagine.

Speaking of being somewhat bad with economics, I started a new book – Practicing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give
It seems really good so far, except they seem to think per capita GDP is useful measure, confuse mean for median, don’t accurately represent inflation, and ignore income inequality. I guess this isn’t surprising, because those things tend to get political, and they state at the beginning, they don’t want to do that, for, you know…reasons. Anyway from a Biblical prospective, it is pretty interesting so far, especially the focus on community.

I haven’t written many reviews lately because I’m still trying to power through this – 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology I’m a big fan of theology, and the part where he gets rolling are really good, but it is slow going as it is a bit repetitive, a little redundant, and well, over 400 pages.

Lastly for books, I read Notes From the Underground, which is really interesting, but I have this copy – Notes From Underground And The Grand Inquisitor. I recommend against this as the second half of the books is an excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov (Everyman’s Library), which I already own.

Finally, you may have seen that we moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There is plenty written out there about the political consequences of this, but I found this article from a Catholic viewpoint to be interesting. If you didn’t grow up in the dispensational work, or studied your way out, Christian Zionism can seem really odd, so I appreciate the view from someone else.

That’s all for now, hopefully, I’ll have some reviews up soon.