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Millennial writing about how faith, governance, culture, and empathy collide.

Riffing off a psalm of lament, for our times

The past several days, I’ve been in the book of Titus for my daily quiet time that, frankly, doesn’t happen daily. A big part of my recent Scripture readings have been in the backwaters of the Bible: those smaller books that often get overlooked or are not taught on frequently.

But yesterday, I found myself aimlessly flipping through the Psalms instead. I don’t know what I was looking for, but Psalms 44: 13–16 caught my attention:

You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the…

The stack on my nightstand is getting a little too small.

Back in January, I set out to read six books by the end of the year. Between running a global nonprofit, raising kids, and finding a new church home, I didn’t want to be overly ambitious by taking on too much.

It looks like I was a little too cautious. I’m already on book number six and seven: White Too Long by Robert P. Jones and How To Have An Enemy: Righteous Anger & the Work Of Peace by Melissa Florer-Bixler. Both books are phenomenal and I will finish them in the next few weeks.

I have one book pre-ordered…

Dispelling a common myth in white American evangelicalism

One of the more interesting things I’ve discovered in my post-evangelical Christian faith is how anxiety-inducing the term exvangelical can be for others, especially white evangelicals.

I write a lot about the state of the American Church and the central role white evangelicalism plays in the crises plaguing so many faith communities today. These can be tricky topics to navigate because people have different ideas of what evangelicalism is. This leads to honest questions, healthy discussion, and — unfortunately — some criticism that is intellectually dishonest.

More recently though, several white evangelicals have asked me what the word exvangelical even…

How one failed church became the bellwether of white American evangelicalism

Every now and then, a new book or podcast comes along that is so timely and informative that you just can’t help sharing it with other people. A friend recently recommended Christianity Today’s The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast. Here’s a short summary of the show from host Mike Cosper:

Founded in 1996, Seattle’s Mars Hill Church was poised to be an influential, undeniable force in evangelicalism — that is until its spiraling collapse in 2014. The church and its charismatic founder, Mark Driscoll, had a promising start. …

A lesson learned from the white evangelical meltdown

Back in March, Gallup released polling results that sent shockwaves through American churches. For the first time since 1937 — when Gallup began surveying religious affiliation and church attendance — less than half of the United States belongs to a church of any kind.

And the hits keep coming, especially for white evangelicals. PRRI’s new The 2020 Census of American Religion report shows that white evangelicals have contracted from 23% of Americans in 2006 to just 14% in 2020. That’s a mass bleed out of about 30 million people.

White evangelical churches lose young people every year for a variety…

America feels fundamentally broken, because it is

Last night, I was texting with a friend who moved out to Oregon a few years ago. He remarked how different the culture is and how heightened the political divisions are there. I asked him what he meant. He sent me this article as an example:

I found this story fascinating, but there was one quote in particular that really jumped off the screen at me:

“When you have people who cater to resentment and everything is an existential fight — everything — it really becomes difficult to find common ground and problem-solve. That’s really where we’re at right now.”

Discovering life elsewhere has implications for faith, probably.

When I was a kid, our solar system seemed like an endless frontier. My childhood fascination with things beyond Earth found a home in science fiction. The first book report I remember writing was on Ray Bradberry’s The Martian Chronicles. I still have C.S. Lewis’ The Space Trilogy from high school on my bookcase. It remains one of my favorite series.

The past few years have been like living parts of my childhood curiosity all over again. We have another rover on Mars, this time with an adorable little helicopter companion. The US government has confirmed that there are things…

A refreshing summer cocktail

Summers here in Memphis, TN — the northern gateway to the Mississippi Delta — are hot and humid. Everything slows down a bit this time of year, as if to match the lazy flow of our region’s namesake river.

Even the lightest of local craft beers feels a bit heavy on the hottest days. That’s when I turn to my favorite summer cocktail — The Messy Mojito — for refreshment.

The Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. The cocktail’s precise origins are debated, but Havana is widely considered to be the drink’s birthplace, with the Mojito’s roots reaching as far…

It’s a lot more complicated than it should be.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard more stories of faith deconstruction, abuse, and pain coming out of the Church than at any other point in my life. The common denominator in these stories is the presence of white evangelical theology and culture.

And there are so many stories. Stories of people realizing that the cultural beliefs they accepted as “Gospel-truths” aren’t actually grounded in Scripture. Stories of Christians coming to terms with the fact that their church is really just a social club rooted in white identity politics. …

A conversation with Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Why does white evangelicalism often feel so controlling, hypocritical, and resistant to change? Why is there so much abuse in white evangelical churches? And how did the people of “family values” fall in line behind Donald Trump in such large numbers?

These are questions answered in Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University.

Her deeply researched history book pushes beyond facile headlines to discover why white evangelicalism isn’t as pure as many of its adherents believe. Historical analysis…

Mark Hackett

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