Category: Social Trends

Eating alone, eating with Jesus

A recent NPR article drew attention to the fact that American adults are increasingly eating alone: 46 percent of our “eating occasions” - meals and snacks - are solitary. There are numerous factors that contribute to this, including our on-the-go lifestyle, the increased habit of replacing meals with snacking and the rise in single-person households. Although technology can sometimes bridge the gaps…  [more]

The (somewhat) sacred outdoors

My family lives surrounded by an embarrassment of scenic riches. In less than six hours, we can drive to no less than five national parks. We don’t even have to leave our own county for a rich experience of nature. We have San Francisco Bay to the east, the Pacific Ocean over a mountain ridge to the west and Redwood groves and open space teeming with deer and mountain lions just miles from my house. We are…  [more]

What’s really been exposed in the Ashley Madison hack

Men and women cheating on their spouses is nothing new. Yet with the hack of affair-matchmaking site Ashley Madison and subsequent release of information identifying its users, adultery is in the public eye in a new way. Those fearful of discovery are seeking to know if their information was part of the leak. Prominent Christians such as Josh Duggar were found among the paid users, as was Sam Rader, a Christian…  [more]

Sharing the good news amidst Tinder’s ‘dating apocalypse’

Love isn’t easy in the digital age and, apparently, neither is responding to criticism. Last week, Vanity Fair ran a piece by Nancy Jo Sales on “Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse,” the contents of which provoked the Tinder Twitter account into an “emotional meltdown” that ranged from accusations of shoddy journalism to invoking North Korean users as legitimation of its services. Although…  [more]

Shopping the gender-neutral toy aisle with Jesus

As I lay snuggled under our gender-neutral down comforter the other night, I pondered Target’s plan to remove gender labels for its toys and bedding alongside a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood blog post expressing dismay over the decision. I wondered where in the Bible it says that boys should have “their” toy guns and plaid bedding clearly identified for them, as that post implies. As my…  [more]

Would you vote for an atheist?

If public opinion is any indication, we could have our first atheist president in a few years. Some 50 years ago, only 18 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist. But according to a June Gallup poll, that number has increased to 58 percent. (For comparison, 73 percent said they would vote for an evangelical Christian.) Some find this troubling because they don't think God would want them to vote for…  [more]

Mourning Mark Zuckerberg’s miscarriages in the shadow of Planned Parenthood

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook (of course) the good news that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a baby girl. He also revealed that the couple experienced three miscarriages before this pregnancy and expressed the desire that sharing their story would give hope to others in similar circumstances. “Most people don't discuss miscarriages,” he wrote, “because you…  [more]

Stephen Hawking and the body of Christ

In an interesting article in the June edition of Epic magazine, Helene Mialet writes about people’s response to her 10-year ethnographic study of the social fabric (people and machines) that surround Stephen Hawking and allow him to be the Stephen Hawking we recognize and respect. As an ethnographer, Mialet is interested in how Hawking’s ability to do what he does as a scientist is dependent…  [more]

Engaging relationally with our information age

Anyone with a smartphone knows we exist in an information age. While the vast expanse of information available at our fingertips may seem majestic on the surface, we’ve grown increasingly accustomed to the instant availability of data. In a recent Time article Lev Grossman discussed what he called “humanity’s newest problem: data.” Considering the rapid rate at which the availability of data…  [more]

Fewer women attending church? Here’s one way to respond

I’ll admit it: I smirked as I read the recent Barna study revealing the “surprising” number of women who are no longer attending church. My smirk wasn’t about women leaving church, precisely, but merely a response to the number of men who’ve boo-hoo-ed about the “feminization” of church (as though it were a bad thing, as if femininity reflects nothing of God) and blamed this…  [more]

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