Highlights from “Children, Youth & a New Kind of Christianity”

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This past week I had the privilege of attending a conference focused on the future of children and youth ministry, which was inspired by Brian McLaren's book A New Kind of Christianity. To learn more about the conference or to see supplementary opportunities, visit http://children-youth.com. (The website also features more information about the speakers listed below: http://children-youth.com/speakers). The following are some of the highlights from the conference. Caveat: Because I was l … [Read more...]

A Guide to Firsthand Experience with God

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(David Benner, Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation, Brazos Press, 2012, 240 pages) I had not heard of David Benner prior to being invited to review his latest book, which is my loss. It turns out he is a well-respected author and editor of more than twenty books at the intersection of psychology and spirituality. And his new book comes with recommendations from Margaret Guenther and Tilden Edwards, two writers on Christians spirituality I have long … [Read more...]

Sermon Series Retrospective: Matthew Fox’s “Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality”

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For Advent, I preached through the four parts of Matthew Fox's landmark book Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions. The following are the sermon titles and a brief summary:Embracing Christianity and Evolution: Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, and Creation Spirituality (Advent 1) What would Christianity look like if the focus were Original Blessing, not Original Sin; Creation Spirituality, not the Fall/Redemption sto … [Read more...]

Preaching the Didache (50-70 C.E.): A Sermon Series Retrospective

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During the season of Epiphany, I preached a six-part sermon series on the Didache (usually pronounced DID-ah-KAY").As part of my preparation, I reread Tony Jones’ book The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community and watched the supplemental DVD from Paraclete Press. Jones has written that: If you don’t know what the Didache is, it is an early Christian document, only rediscovered in 1873 in a dusty library in Nicomedia. A … [Read more...]

How to Decide If You Should Read Diana Butler Bass’ New Book

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The latest book from my fellow Patheos blogger Diana Butler Bass arrived on my doorstep last night. I've enjoyed her previous books, and am looking forward to this most recent offering in particular after hearing her lecture a few months ago on some of the book's main themes.In celebration of yesterday's publication date, I'm posting the three links to the blog posts I wrote about those lectures. You may find these posts helpful in discerning if you want to read the whole book: “Reclaiming C … [Read more...]

Christ-peddlers: If God is still speaking, how do you know if someone is authentically speaking for God?

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Note: This post is the fifth in a six-part series on the ancient Christian document called the Didache (50-70 C.E., pronounced "DID-ah-KAY). Links to previous entries in this series are at the bottom of this post. 11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said.... 11:2 If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there's a need. If he stays … [Read more...]


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