What If…The Present Could Influence the Past?
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
2w ago
This is the first in a series of articles I plan to do over the coming years where I talk about various theories I have been mulling called What If... I normally keep these ideas to myself because I feel they are too underdeveloped or overly complex. However, since we’ve experienced growth within the Restorative Faith community, I feel it’s worth taking a chance and stretching you all with some conceptually difficult material. For this What If… I want to take you on a journey that may seem odd at first, but if you follow the trail I’m laying before you, the result might be an entirely new way ..read more
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Christspiracy – A Movie Review
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
1M ago
In the spirit of  Easter, I want to tell you about a movie that was recently released in theaters—Christspiracy. A friend of mine had been following the filmmakers on social media and was looking forward to its release. Normally, this is not the type of movie I would intentionally watch, but, because she invited me, I figured why not? I had no idea what the movie was about other than what I had seen in the trailer. It was a Da Vinci Code type documentary where the filmmakers were claiming they had uncovered a massive conspiracy within the church. Indeed, the trailer intimated that t ..read more
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Flipping the Script: How an Interview about Climate Change Upended My Biases
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
2M ago
Recently, I was conducting an interview for Season 4 of the Restorative Faith Podcast with Dr. Ryan Juskus, a post-doc at Princeton University who studies the intersection of religion, politics and science. I contacted Dr. Juskus because I wanted to speak with him about why certain types of Christians reject the science around topics like climate change or the efficacy of vaccinations. His initial response to my e-mail was that this is not a black and white issue where you can easily identify a group of Christians and say, “This group of Christians rejects science, and this group does not. It ..read more
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Belonging: The Overlap of Sports and Religion
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
3M ago
With the Superbowl a little more than a week away, it sparked a memory from when I was a student in seminary. My wife and I had become friendly with another couple. The wife was in seminary, training to become a pastor, and her husband was along for the ride. One night, he and I were talking about sports and I confessed that I’ve never been a huge fan of team sports. The sports that tend to draw my attention are swimming (which I only get to enjoy every four years at the Olympics) and professional tennis. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer held little interest for me. He, on th ..read more
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2024: The Year of Patience
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
4M ago
In last year’s January post, I explained how a good friend of mine has a tradition where every New Year’s Eve he comes up with a word that defines the coming year. The idea is that whatever word he chooses will become an aspirational theme that guides his life over the next 12 months. Last year, my word for the year was freedom. This was primarily driven by my decision to leave the pastorate. At the time, I had no idea that claiming my freedom from the pastorate would be such a public affair. Most people switching professions mid-life do so with little fanfare. In fact, those at my stage who ..read more
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Restorative Beauty is Out Now!
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
5M ago
https://vimeo.com/893085759 It’s finally here! After three years of research, writing and editing, I’m proud to announce that my second book, Restorative Beauty is now available for purchase on Amazon (available in soft cover—hard cover and e-book will be coming soon!). What is Restorative Beauty? To find out, watch the trailer above and keep reading below! Restorative Beauty seeks to answer a fundamental question that I’ve been contemplating for years: What exactly is happening when humans claim to have a spiritual experience? I know this might sound like a Sisyphean task. Isn’t defining a sp ..read more
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City of Thorns: A Short Story
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
7M ago
Ever since the civil war erupted in Syria back in 2011, I have taken an interest in the lives of refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs). Technically, these two groups are defined in different ways. A refugee is a person who has fled their home, crossed an international border, and cannot return because they fear their lives are in danger. An IDP is in much the same situation, except they remain within their own country. In 2022, there were 35.3 million refugees and 62.5 million internally displaced people forcibly displaced worldwide. Almost always, these people are the victims of w ..read more
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The Arena: Reflections on a Viral Moment
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
8M ago
I think everyone who dedicates themselves to the craft of writing hopes that one day they will produce something that will be noticed by a larger audience. When I wrote Departure: Why I Left the Church, I did so as a way of processing my feelings about leaving the pastorate. I also wanted a record of my last Sunday at First Pres since it was so incredibly special. If you had asked me before I published Departure if this would be my breakout piece, I would have told you, “No way.” Why would anyone care about a pastor leaving his church? Pastors leave their jobs all the time. I launched the Res ..read more
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Departure: Why I Left the Church
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
9M ago
This past Sunday, I preached my last sermon as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights. I have made the decision that I’m not only leaving my post as head of staff, but I’m going to be leaving the pastorate all together. I no longer have a desire to serve as a pastor in the church. In my sermon, I told my congregation that I was exhausted from writing, memorizing and preaching sermons week after week for 10 years, which is true. However, there are other reasons why I'm leaving that I didn't have time to discuss in my sermon and I want to utilize this article to do a deep ..read more
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The Precipice: Teetering on the Edge of Extinction
Restorative Faith Blog
by Alexander Lang
10M ago
There’s a disquieting feeling in the air. Everyone can tell something is wrong. The world is not as it should be and everything seems to be teetering on a precipice. This summer, we’ve recorded the hottest global temperatures in human history. Fires are raging in Canada and Greece. This year alone, violent weather events have caused $35 billion worth of damage in the United States. You’ve probably read headlines describing how the water temperature off the coast of Florida is above 100 degrees, destroying much of the coral reef and sea life dependent upon them. In fact, there was a recent sci ..read more
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