Twenty Years of Religious Decline

Exploring faith post 9/11

When Tripp Fuller asked me and Brian McLaren to join him for a 6-week class looking at religion since 9/11, we jumped at the chance! The class started on August 31 with more than 1,000 people signed in - and created a quite a stir.

This morning, Tripp Fuller shared with his community:

Nearing the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the three of us decided to spend 6 weeks together online exploring how Christianity has changed over the last 20 years. Each week we will be focusing on a different theme and last night we kicked things off looking at 20 years of religious decline. Not only did Diana bring the heat in the mini-lecture, but the ensuing conversation was energizing and enlightening. Before the session ended I had members of the class asking if they could share it with friends...I figured I would go ahead and share with you all too.

Tripp’s classes are usually “hidden” on a private YouTube channel. But the response was so positive that he’s opened this lecture up to a wider audience as both a video version and a podcast. You can watch it or listen to it HERE (the options are at the bottom of the page).

You can still JOIN THE CLASS as well. There will be five more sessions (with Brian and I alternating giving the mini-lectures - next up is Brian!) including live Q&As, a Facebook conversation, and a final live lecture with the three of us. Tripp’s also running a book give-away in conjunction with the course.

The class is whatever you can pay (including $0) - just follow the sign-up buttons at the link. After entering your email address, you will see a payment request (which can be skipped for the free option). Once you’ve signed up, Tripp will email you all the links and info you need to participate. Make sure to open that email when it lands in your box!

I invite you to listen to the open lecture - and I hope you’ll join us on the six-week journey. These are such hard days. As Brian, Tripp and I created these conversations and lectures, all three of us felt the power of renewed hope and the perspective that comes from a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit. We learned from one another; we startled each other with ideas and insights that had never occurred to us before.

We’d love to share all this with you - and feel free to bring your friends as well.

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Some of the Twitter responses:


Jesus Poem
by Susan Birkeland

If I'd been trapped in one of those towers,
and I had a cell phone,
I'd have called my sister and brother
and told them I'd loved my life,
loved them, always would, and to
thank everyone for being so good to me and
to take no avenging actions,
nor support the avenging actions of others,
but to let me die with the dignity of my faith.
Then I'd step out into the air,
something opening beneath me,
the last fall of my life.
It's hard to say what I'd be feeling,
surprise, mystification, terror, glory,
but I'm sure I wouldn't be angry.
In the last moments 
there's nothing to fix,
no protest against the speed of the fall.
I imagine I 'd be filled with
something beyond terror,
a feeling which is
(from where we stand)
intolerably bright.

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