The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is ...a church where beauty is cherished. Where people are given the space to express their creative nature and make beautiful things. A space where candles come in all different kinds of colors, containers and arrangements. Where banners are made to fit a space and a people. Where lanterns light up the shadows in the ceiling and remind us that we are part of that kingdom. The Kingdom of God is...a pool in the middle of summer where people aren’t obsessed about what they … [Read more...]

I am topsoil + to topsoil I shall return*

There is something comforting to me in the idea that I am part of the earth and will always be part of the earth. Maybe it’s rooted in my rural upbringing, where I was familiar with the dirt, and played in it, and got my hands dirty often. There was a time in my adult life when I had a garden and lived in an old farmhouse that used to be a flower farm. I would come home from work some days and plunge my hands into the dirt—to soften it for planting, or to loosen it to pull up … [Read more...]

Emergent Peeps on Lent – Doug Pagitt and Phyllis Tickle first

Patheos is launching a 40 day Lent Reflection Blog today. Phyllis Tickle and I are on for the first 5 installments. We recorded a conversation we had over Skype about Lent. Here is the first one - you can follow the 40 days at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/the40dayjourney/   … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part I by Randy Woodley

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What has been particularly harmful about American Christianity has not necessarily been the beliefs professed by American Christians but rather the worldview that makes professions of belief more real than living them out. Within this schism of reality exists classic American dualism. With just a reference to our nation’s fondness for war, our crime statistics, our rising poverty rates and an apparent increasing lack of concern for the most disenfranchised of society, we simply do not … [Read more...]

Black History – White Woman

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Thank you. I’m sorry. I need to say both. Thank you to everyone who has written, sung, or spoken the difficult truths of racism, discrimination, oppression and privilege. Thank you to my friends who have taken the time to tell me their stories so that I might understand my own history better, so that I might understand myself better. I’m sorry that you have these painful stories to tell. I regret that I didn’t already know them. I realize now that I’ve been callous about your … [Read more...]

Talking with Father Richard Rohr

Yesterday on my radio show I talked with Father Richard Rohr about his book Falling Upward and Emerging Christianity from a Catholic perspective.   Watch the Video Cast of the show below. … [Read more...]

Conversation As a Path to Transformation

Chris Smith

We're getting ready to celebrate in April our 8-year anniversary of meeting as the "Emerging Church Discussion Group" (a.k.a. the Charlotte Emergent cohort). The group has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same: There is still a need for a safe(r) space for theological conversation, because most churches do not create space for it. This is still true here in Charlotte ("the city of 1,000 churches"), and I suspect it's true of the many cities where other Emergent cohorts … [Read more...]

the boy who broke the law and lost his father…

  if there is anything revolutionary within christianity, it is everything that lies outside of it. meaning, that christianity at its best must be receptive to the 'trauma of the secular', rather than resist it (as it has historically). the anarchic kernel within christianity resides not in the creeds, not even in the bible itself, but rather in freud and lacan (or psychoanalysis). who, as people, resisted christianity (aka, conversion), however, in the present future their ghosts are … [Read more...]

(continued ) a parable:the murder of the farm owner’s son

Continuing on from my recent post " a parable: the murder of the farm owner's son " investigating the crime scene. So the owner, ( God ), sends his son, ( Jesus ) into the midst of the vineyard, ( creation ) to confront the tenants ( humanity ) about the fruit ( the fullness of the Kingdom ) the tenants have produced. In the reality of what the Kingdom should be, where the fruit that is produced by the vineyard produces abundant life for " everyone ", Jesus heart is moved with … [Read more...]

Peter Mayer Music Video: “Holy Now”

Here's another music video that I use in contemporary worship settings all the time. The music and lyrics are by Peter Mayer. The photos were taken, and videography done, by my beloved wife and mission partner, Connie Barlow. … [Read more...]