Should You Add Your Social Media Skills to Your Résumé?

(John Voelz, Follow You, Follow Me: Why Social Networking Is Essential to Ministry, 2012, 159 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Patheos Book Club. Do ministers need to add their Klout scores to their resumes? Do congregational search committees need to take social media prowess into account when hiring staff? (For the uninitiated, Klout is a fledgling way of measuring your social networking influence compared to other people.)When I attended a recent ministry … [Read more...]

Highlights from Funding the Missional Church

 I recently had the opportunity to attending a conference on Funding the Missional Church. The following are the highlights from my notes on this event:“What Exactly Is ‘Missional’?”Finding God is already present in everyone you meet “out there,” not just bringing God with you. Hands on, instead of writing a check Loving what God loves Doing what Jesus did, incarnational Connecting with the people around you Getting out there and doing something … [Read more...]

Sermon Series Retrospective: The Book of J

The four main original independent sources used to compile the early books of the Bible are called J, E, D, and P. Similar to the “Q Source” used to compose the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, J-E-D-P are each shorthand for the full title scholars have given to these sources. The Book of J, which stands for the “Jahwist.” Normally, we English-speakers would begin spelling YaHWeH with a “Y,” but the landmark scholars who developed this “Documentary Hypothesis” were Germans. I particularly recommend t … [Read more...]

Standing on the Side of Love for Immigration Justice

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Unitarian Universalists' annual General Assembly, which was held this year in Phoenix, Arizona. The focus of this year's gathering was social justice around the issue of immigration. I live tweeted the event from my iPhone, and the following are some of the highlights: Peter Bowden ‏@uuplanet: Supreme Court sides with U.S. in Arizona immigration case -http://CNN.com http://ow.ly/bO8Oj #UUAGA #SB1070"It is possible to move from a thin … [Read more...]

A Remnant Theology of Hope

8 Then I heard the voice of God saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!" 9 And God said, "Go and say to this people: "Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.' 10 Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed." 11 Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And God said: … [Read more...]

“Lech lecha”: The Journey Outward & Inward (Genesis 12)

1 Now God said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your ancestral house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4 So Abram went, as God had told him; and Lot went with him.... At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then God … [Read more...]

What Troubles Your Thoughts? Wendell Berry, Prometheus, & The Tower of Babel

  1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of … [Read more...]

An Honest Memoir: Becoming a Dad, Take 2

(Christian Piatt, PregMANcy: A Dad, a Little Dude, and a Due Date, Chalice Press, 2012, 182 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Roundtable at the Patheos Book Club. Full disclosure: Amy Piatt, Christian's wife, was my classmate in seminary. I haven't talked in person with Amy or Christian since I graduated from Divinity School in 2003, nor have I met either of their children. Christian's new fatherhood memoir hilariously and profoundly caught me up on the h … [Read more...]

Slavery, Same-Sex Marriage, and How to Read the Bible

9:18 The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine and became drunk, and he lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their … [Read more...]

Who Could You Call “Bishop” Without Your Fingers Crossed?

(Katharine Jefferts Schori, Gathering at God's Table: The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2012, 219 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Roundtable at the Patheos Book Club. Having been raised in a Baptist milieux, my ecclesiastical instincts reflexively bend in the Free Church direction. And even though my official title these days is "The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg," there is still a significant part of me that wrestles with the ways t … [Read more...]