King's Evangelical Divinity School

27 February 2010

Blog From America 8 (quick update)

Five inches of snow yesterday, and two or three inches on each of the previous two days (plus there was already five or six inches lying on the ground when I arrived). Cars everywhere have long icicles hanging from the chasis or bumpers. Yesterday I was taken to Red Lobster, which as usual was great (I had lobster, king prawns and clam chowder, plus all those extras they throw in). My kids will be glad to know I've got the Taco Bell goodies I was instructed to bring home. Getting rather fed up with large breakfasts now. The church I'm speaking at is taking me out to lunch at a Polish restaurant tomorrow (this area has a high concentration of Polish Americans, indeed I married one).

Speaking tomorrow morning at church, then off on Monday to Grand Rapids to do some research at Calvin College (as long as there's not too much more snow because it is heading northwards into the Michigan peninsula). Grand Rapids is where the publishers Baker Books and Zondervan are based. Last time I was there I found a huge Christian book store (I think owned by Zondervan) full of titles, new and second hand. Great place to browse, I hope it's still there (problem is, luggage allowance doesn't allow me to bring too many books back).

Grand Rapids is where the Reformed wing is particularly strong. In parts of the South it's the Southern Baptists, in the Bible Belt there are a lot of Baptistic and Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, in New England it's the Episcopalians, and around Idaho the Nazarenes are pretty big. Of course, there are all kinds of denominations dotted about across the country, but some regions have higher concentrations of a particular brand of Christianity than others.

In my next entry I'll be commenting briefly on U.S. faith, culture and politics.

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