ARTICLES

Dennis Hiebert - Problems and Possibilities of Sociology as Prophetic

Many Christian sociologists have experienced the juxtaposition of those two identities as
casting them into a socially prophetic role. Sociology often places the Christian sociologist
as one who speaks to the established Christian community rather than for it. Dennis W.
Hiebert traces the development of the classic distinction between the sociological concepts
of priest and prophet from its early formulations by Max Weber, to its refinement by Peter
Berger, to its recent application by Robert Woods and Paul Patton to Christian media criticism.
The goal is to ascertain whether sociology practiced by Christians can reasonably and
fruitfully be understood as having a prophetic function for culture in general, but Christian
sub-cultures in particular, and if so, how best to serve that function. Mr. Hiebert is Professor
of Sociology at Providence University College, Canada.

Aaron B. James - Rehabilitating Willow Creek: Megachurches, De Certeau, and the Tactics of Navigating Consumer Culture

The American religious landscape is increasingly dominated by the influence of megachurches.
A common criticism of megachurches is that they reinforce the bad habits of
consumer culture. They do so by commodifying religion for the easy consumption of the
religious consumer. Using Vince Miller's account of consumer culture, and Michel De Certeau's
theoretical project of articulating ways consumers act subversively and creatively,
Aaron B. James argues that such criticisms of megachurches, while valid, are shortsighted.
He uses megachurch architecture as an illustration of the ways in which megachurches
engage consumer culture creatively and subversively. Mr. James is Assistant Professor of
Theological Studies at Cedarville University.

Phillip Luke Sinitiere - Will the Evangelical Church Remove the Color Line?: Historical Reflections on Divided by Faith

Sociologists Michael Emerson and Christian Smith asked in their book Divided by Faith:
Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America
: will the evangelical church remove
the color line? Phillip Luke Sinitiere offers a "history" of Divided by Faith since its publication
in 2000. This article traces out the book's impact on scholars, accounting for its place
in the fields of American religious history and religious studies. Then he gauges Divided by
Faith'
s impact on American evangelicalism, linking it to an increase in "racial justice genre"
books published by evangelical presses over the last dozen years. Finally, an overview of
Michael Emerson's subsequent scholarship that followed Divided by Faith suggests that it
remains salient for those interested in a nuanced analysis of race and religion in America.
Mr. Sinitiere is Professor of History at the College of Biblical Studies, a multiethnic school
located in Houston's Mahatma Gandhi District.

 

REVIEW ESSAY

Katie Kresser - Art and Theology—A Review Essay

Katie Kresser is Associate Professor of Art History at Seattle Pacific University.

 

FOR THE CLASSROOM

Adam Perez and Mark Peters - For the Classroom: Liberal Arts for the Christian Life

Adam Perez graduated from Trinity Christian College in May 2013, and Mark Peters is
Professor of Music at Trinity Christian College.