Publisher's Weekly Review: "Tailor-made for an age of anxiety, this volume, written particularly for Christians, attempts to address and answer the author's question: "What would it be like to be formed by communities consumed by God and God's vision for the world?" The author, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Kentucky, indicts Christians for supporting a cultural obsession with consumption, a constrictive view of morality and a narrow view of God. Threading his own conservative evangelical background and his family's present experiences as part of an intentional community throughout the book, the author also uses Scripture to delineate an alternative vision: countercultural "Eucharistic Communities" that offer their resources to the world."
The New Evangelical Social Engagement
Chapter: The New Monasticism
New Monasticism is a movement of young evangelicals challenging both the militaristic moralism and the therapeutism that have come to dominate American Evangelicalism. Here I present a chapter in an edited volume that contains research from my doctoral dissertation about the New Monasticism.
Evangelical Christians and the Environment: “Christians for the Mountains” and the Appalachian Movement against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining (Billings, Samson)
Prior research has described evangelical Protestants as hostile toward environmentalism, but this traditional stance, however deeply rooted, is being challenged from within by the Creation Care movement. We analyze an important current example of evangelical environmentalism, an organization known as “Christians for the Mountains” (CFTM) that opposes the highly destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) in Appalachia. We focus on Christians for the Mountains in relation to larger national movements such as the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). We use attitude interviews, participant observation, discourse analysis, and Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action to examine how both movements are attempting to overcome the opposition toward environmentalism within evangelical Christianity.