the parable of the Muslim…and the beaten gay man

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There once was a gay man, that everyone in the city knew, who was travelling from James Bay to Oak Bay. On the way he was attacked by thugs. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily a Pentecostal Pastor was on his way travelling down the same road, but when he saw him something popped into his head...and he quickly swerved to the other side of the road. Then a Baptist pastor showed up, he looked at the human wreckage on the street, and something crossed his … [Read more...]

Agree or Die. [Improvisational Christianity #4]

Improv is play – simple pretending. Think of what works best when kids are at play.Here are three examples of how little children tend to play together:Example 1:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: No, you’re a Wizard!Girl: No, I’m a Princess. You’re a Prince.Boy: You’re ugly and stupid!Girl leaves weeping.Example 2:Girl: I’m a Princess!Boy: Ok, I’m A Wizard.Girl: No. You’re a Prince. You have blonde hair and green eyes and you live in a castle and you have w … [Read more...]

On Friendship (For Hawk)

Dedicated to Hawk (d. December 2011)These days I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship.Since the early days of Emergent Village it has been common for us to name this conversation a “generative friendship,” and for solid theological reasons, of course.In the Hebrew Scriptures we find countless examples of friendship. One of the reasons God creates Eve is for companionship, that he might not be alone. Job’s friends play a key role in that story. We have specific friendships too l … [Read more...]

Emerging Apophatic

One of my favorite theological sayings is “God in all things; all things in God.” This statement reflects the lively omnipresence of God, who can be experienced in everything from toddlers and fireflies to galaxies, soy burgers, mystery novels, and enchiladas. Every place is a divine center and although God doesn’t cause all things and cannot be identified with everything that happens (omnipotence or pantheism), you can find divine inspiration in joyful souls and cancer cells. This is the good … [Read more...]

The Church Doesn’t Know How To Have Sex

Sex has become something bourgeois. Not that the proletariat ever experience sex mind you, but the real act is saved for those who can afford to talk about it. In high school sex is a sort of perverse social currency whereby someone's acceptance is measure and defined by the quantity of partners they have experienced intercourse with. To talk about sex in this context is not only anticipated but is also encouraged. But, what happens when sex becomes nothing more than a transgression? As in, … [Read more...]

Blessed or Cursed?

It seems natural to wonder, “am I cursed or am I blessed?” But the answer to that question often depends on context. Walking through my neighborhood with my sister who lives in the suburbs, I suddenly see the trash on the streets, the rough characters standing at the corner and the chipped paint in my house. But when my friend from East Oakland comes to visit, I feel a tinge of privilege about living in a neighborhood with coffee shops, a bookstore and great restaurants. I feel poor when I com … [Read more...]

A Seat at The Table: Keep it Wild

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Listening to a recent 'On Being' podcast with the venerable and feisty Walter Brueggemann, I was struck by what seems at first to be rank overstatement.  His contention is that the ancient Hebrew 'prophetic/poetic messengers' serve to critique everything:  all political, social, and religious systems. In Brueggemann's opinion, the worst thing we can do with these Biblical messages is to organize them, domesticate them, and to "create another 'ism'".Surely, part of the reason e … [Read more...]

The Birth of the Emerging Church & a Missing Voice

There is one important person who helped start the entire discussion about "Progressive Christianity" or the "Emerging Church" who has been silenced. He is speaking again, and I'd suggest we all welcome him back. Let me explain:Somewhere around 1996 an organization called Leadership Network pulled together about 10-20 young leaders in the church to begin a discussion about ministry for Generation X. Within a few months, the conversation morphed into a more academic one about post-modernism … [Read more...]

Missional Conversations with … Kathy Escobar

Last month, I decided to start a series of monthly #missionalchat conversations on Twitter, on the third Monday of the month (which is also when I'm planning to post on the Emergent Village Voice blog).Back in December, the conversation was around the terms "incarnational" vs. "missional" for the type of ministry we're talking about in the emerging church. I had the privilege of doing that first experimental #missionalchat with Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge and author of Down We … [Read more...]

Remembering Dr. King

Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I consider him one of my heroes.  In fact, my wife and I are in the process of planning a southern vacation to the Memphis area in a few months to visit some of the historic sites.  He was a pioneer of peace.  A leader fueled by love.  May we all continue to follow in his footsteps, furthering his work of peace and reconciliation.  Enjoy the video. … [Read more...]


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