Millennials are shaping the future.

We're shaping the conversation

about millennials.

“I’m embarrassed to admit I have held an under-examined negative view of millennials.  John has opened my eyes to what is possible, and particularly in the hands, mind and souls of millennials themselves.”

Tom Scott, co-founder and CEO, The Nantucket Project

Recent Posts



Rectify, Rikers and the Power of Cinematic Consciousness-Raising

Great storytelling builds conviction through empathy. It doesn’t preach or resort to rational argument; it simply engages us with depth in the shared human experience. Great storytelling makes us better people in that it expands our horizons to include the excluded other. The greatest challenge of the marginal is their invisibility. Those with the greatest needs are not seen. It is not without purpose that the stories of Jesus’ compassion always included looking first, feeling second, and then taking action. It begins with seeing: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion..." (Matthew 9:36). Some of the biggest scars on our society are those that are consciously kept out of sight and thus o

A Misfire that Matters: Kit Harington’s "Gunpowder" and the Modern Religious Sensibility

Why should we care about historical biopics such as HBO’s mini-series Gunpowder? Is it because it stars Kit Harington—the heartthrob Jon Snow of Game of Thrones fame? Is it because of its message of religious bigotry and violence? This is a British story exported to the U.S. Its resonance here will be very different from the U.K. where it played last October on BBC. The Gunpowder Plot is celebrated annually in England as Guy Fawkes Day. It is the British equivalent of our 9/11. And like 9/11 it is seared into the British consciousness. We have a contemporary U.S. TV drama that is premised on the blowing up of the entire government assembled at the U.S. Capitol, ABC’s Designated Survivor. Thi

Emmanuel in Dark Places of Unfairness

A romanticized nativity does not serve Christianity or modern people well. We present a saccharine Christmas story and then wonder why it seems so childish and irrelevant to our adult messy lives. Luther penned of Jesus, “no crying he makes.” Really? He was never hungry or wet or colicky? U.S.A Today reports that this year, people are experiencing “more jingle, less Jesus.” About half of millennials disbelieve the central aspects of the Christmas story. One wonders what story they are rejecting? The actual story of Jesus’ birth is closer to an R-rated movie involving a presumed birth out of wedlock to a teenage girl, the threat of an honor killing, a potentially cuckold fiancé, a 100-mile wa

How the Unchurched Can be the Savior of the Churched

The New York Jets despise the New England Patriots. It’s a visceral rivalry. The New Copernicans, the forthcoming book on millennials by David John Seel, Jr., claims that the survival of the church is dependent on the church’s response to millennials. It’s a claim like the New England Patriots survival is dependent on the New York Jets. One might immediately conclude that if this is the case, the game is over. For with “friends” like this who needs enemies. This is an audacious claim. It’s a notion that might even strike one as humorous. For in general, millennials don’t like the church or as they might describe it, “organized religion.” They particularly don’t like the evangelical church an

The New Copernicans: An Answer to Confusion, Frustration, and Perplexity

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time,” so warns motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. It is critical in any business enterprise to know your audience. Within 30 days, Thomas Nelson Publisher, a division of Harper Collins, will release my forthcoming book, The New Copernicans: Millennials and the Survival of the Church. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be addressing the following questions about the book. Who is the book for? How do you substantiate the audacious claim that the survival of the church is dependent on millennials? What are the intellectual sources of this analysis? How did this book come about? This book addresses three audiences all of whom have similar re

A Sign and a Test: What Does This Mean?

It is both a sign and a test. When I designed the logo for New Copernican Conversations, my blog about the significance of the millennial generation to the church and the wider world, I depicted a yen and yang symbol in a coffee cup. One's reaction to this symbol is a good indicator of whether one holds a New Copernican sensibility. New Copernicans view the world in both/and terms, with a holism that rejects either/or binary categories. And so the yen and yang symbol is appropriate. Yen and yang is a Chinese Toaist metaphysical perspective that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (or literally, “the Way”). Here the nature of reality follows a cyclic model where seemingly opposite or co

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