Why I am Emergent, Part 2: Multivocality

As an addendum to last weeks post on the conversational element of Emergent, I want to assert my belief that when it comes to voices in the conversation, more is better. In one of our Twin Cities Emergent Cohort meetings several years ago I remember Tony Jones saying that the fear of many concerning open discussion in biblical or theological small groups is that heresy will rule the day.  “If everyone has a say,” the argument goes, “there will be no truth.”  Tony rightly argued … [Read more...]

Improvisational Christianity: I hope you like me.

This is what I look like. (As an Amish farmer.)

Starting a blog for a new "audience" is awkward. This first post feels a little like a Match.com-ish plea for you to like me. Just so you know, I really do want you to like me. I love the approval of strangers.  That said, I will pretend like I don't care what you think of me. My shrink calls that instinct "self-preservation" and I am really good at it. I'm thankful that Doug Pagitt invited me into the conversation on this blog. With no sense of false humility (just genuine, completely … [Read more...]

We live in a new age – and that is great news

I have suggested in a series of books recently that we live in the Inventive Age. I believe a have moved from the Agrarian Age, through the Industrial Age and the Information Age into the creative Inventive Age. These ages create the context for all of cultural life and every part of society is part of the cultural reality. In this video from my weekly Sunday radio show I give a few reasons why I think this matters. … [Read more...]

Tis the Season…

Christmas just isn't so much my season. I'm not a Scrooge exactly, but maybe just his first cousin once removed. In sum, I hate the whole thing, except for the Christian part of it. But every time I lay claim to the beauty of holy nativity, I sound to myself like one of those annoying, holier-then-thou, put Christ back in Christmas folks whom I dislike more than I dislike the whole secularized mess itself. What it all finally boils down to, in candor and honesty, is that I fall down into the … [Read more...]

But How Amazing Is It That We Get To Help?

Bob and his beard.

This Advent we are looking at the Christmas story through the lens of the Mission of God. So, this last Sunday we got to walk through parts of Isaiah asking, "What will this Kingdom God is bringing thru Jesus look like?" We want to know, if God is about the rescue and renewal of the world, what will that encompass? And more, what's OUR part in the story? Words like peace, justice, fairness, wholeness and flourishing (shalom)... This is what we are promised God is bringing about even now- … [Read more...]

Is God Coming? An Advent Poem

caravaggioimages

Is God coming? God is here! Can’t you see him all around you? From the first light of creation, To the moment that he found you. We’re not abandoned or left comfortless. But Scripture reveals a pattern that we’ve missed. His comings aren't limited two, the bridegroom hasn’t been "delayed". Comings run through Scripture like a thread, our perception needs to be remade. Not all comings were in his body, to be seen and touched and heard, He was in the Burning Bush and Firey … [Read more...]

Your Mormon Friend

Flunking-Sainthood-jpeg

I recently had a near-miss opportunity to have my memoir Flunking Sainthood featured on a prominent evangelical website. Apparently the two editors there who had read it really enjoyed the book and thought its themes of finding joy in spiritual failure would resonate with their readers. They began the process of scheduling an author interview. And then someone found out the dirty truth that I am a Mormon. Not only that, but a "vocal Mormon," as an embarrassed, kind editor at the website put … [Read more...]

Choice Lamb

choice lamb

I receive emails everyday at nakedpastor from people who have left the church. They share with me their struggle to learn how to live without it. Here's a slice from one such letter: We were told to leave a church because we had become tools of Satan in the fellowship. So we were handed over to Satan to do his will for punishment. All because of a difference of opinion regarding actions we believed were unloving. Anyway, person after person has encouraged me to find another church with … [Read more...]

Moving Right Along

I was reminded this morning during a moment of prayer that I am to be contrite and not contrary. I was asking God to give me something worth saying on this blog site today. I am usually not short of words, but have wrestled with where to begin since receiving an invitation to join this experiment. Quickly I knew the foundation of my posts would be centered in prayer and hospitality from the perspective of a follower of Jesus. More specifically, I sensed the purpose of my sharing in this … [Read more...]

A Real Church Health Inspection

handwash

Who would think that interacting with a county bureaucracy could lead to pondering deep ecclesial questions? Over the past few weeks, Vision Community Church, which I pastor, has begun a monthly soup kitchen for local farm workers and their families.  We meet in a closed elementary school that is still owned by our school district.  Even though we are renters, it became our responsibility to maintain the food service permit from our county board of health.  That meant the county inspector … [Read more...]


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