Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fire and Nice - the wide views of regional churches

There is an interesting article over at Christianity Today called Fire and Nice that looks at some churches in the Twin Cities. This is a phenomenon that I have often thought about - that there are such divergent views within the Metro area. I was first exposed to this as I entered seminary on the tail end of the "debate" between John Piper and Greg Boyd over open-theism. It was a polarizing time, but an interesting one. Below is just a snippet from the article. I suggest you go HERE and read it all if you are interested.

"Together, Minneapolis and St. Paul are big enough to sustain diverse expressions of Christian theology, but small enough to bring those expressions into contact. In many ways, the Twin Cities are a microcosm of the current tensions in American evangelicalism.

Smorgasbord of Churches

With a little more than 3.5 million residents, Minneapolis/St. Paul is the 15th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. That makes the Twin Cities big enough to host major corporations, including headquarters for Best Buy, General Mills, Dairy Queen, and 3M. But the area is small enough that you wouldn't be surprised to bump into a local television news anchor at Target.

You have to really work to avoid bumping into megachurch pastors. The Twin Cities are home to the most Protestant megachurches per capita in the United States, according to John Mayer, executive director of City Vision, a Minneapolis ministry that researches demographic trends. Only the Atlanta and Dallas metro areas boast more megachurches. Maybe the Twin Cities' ranking should not be surprising, given their penchant for "big." The nation's first mall, Southdale Center, opened in 1956 in Edina. Nearby Bloomington boasts the 4.2-million-square-foot Mall of America."

(HT: Justin Taylor)

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