There Is No Virtual Ecclesia

discoll can

In the early 50’s when Robert Schuller and others across the nation combined a growing car culture with “Church” they believed they were reaching a segment of the population traditional church wouldn’t or couldn’t. Drive-In church allowed parishioners to attend, hear a sermon, sing some songs, even receive communion and give- all without the fuss and muss of face-to-face interaction beyond a passing usher with elements and a communion plate or maybe being greeted by a … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part II by Randy Woodley

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The customs of the Nacirema, a still very poorly understood tribal group, came to the attention of anthropologists about forty years ago. They are a North American group living in the territory roughly between the Cree and the Tarahumare tribal groups. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east. In the mid-seventies a group of anthropologists formalized the studies of this very strange and powerful culture. I’ve dusted off an old copy of their … [Read more...]

why feminine castration is like church on sunday

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath - Jesus, Rabbi from Nazareth Is not defending Sunday as a day to meet with God simply re-instituting the temple in that it promises some sort of mystical experience in a specific time and place? The geographical implications also claim that God could then only be experienced in 'this' specific context. What we cannot do is assume that our geographic place has no bearing on who we are, what we believe and even why we believe it. Take for … [Read more...]

OMG—My Brackets are SO BUSTED!

This blog post is SO late, but I decided to write it using March Madness—the NCAA Basketball tournament as a clever metaphor. Then two #2 seeded teams were beaten by two #15 seeded teams, something that has NEVER happened in the history of the tournament and I realized that the unexpected in a college basketball tournament is more than a clever metaphor—it is a laboratory of contemporary life. “March Madness” is an interesting distraction that has evolved into a significant American … [Read more...]

A Hunger for the Kingdom

Yesterday I received an email promoting a new Christian move called October Baby It is about a girl that is an abortion survivor and her journey of self discovery upon finding out about her history. What made the email noticeable was this statement: "This weekend, when the biggest box-office hit is expected be a film based on a popular book about young people being forced to fight to the death, OCTOBER BABY hits theaters with a resounding message about the sanctity of life. Talk about a … [Read more...]

Was the Gospel Preached in “All the World”?

Was the Gospel been preached to all the world? A Fulfilled Perspective When you’re speaking with someone who is new to the topic of Fulfilled Eschatology, (or preterist theology, the understanding that all Bible prophecy, including Jesus' coming, was fulfilled by 70AD) there are many questions that come up. One frequent flyer is, “Doesn't the Bible say that  the Gospel must be preached to the whole world before the End and Jesus can come?” And if I sense they're actually … [Read more...]

Mark Driscoll and Accountability

A number of years ago I was surprised by a phone call from someone high up in the Acts 29 network, the church planting organization started by Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill church in Seattle. The call was precipitated by some blogging I had done about Mark; the long and short of it was Mark had made some reckless and frankly crude comments in a public forum about an old friend and a goat. It was beyond the pale and he later apologized after inspiring the first of many internet uproars over his … [Read more...]

Outside the Walls, But Not the Tradition

Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the American Society of Missiology (a gathering of smart folks who try to study and name the mission that God is up to in the world.) The Society had asked me to bring a report about the new monastic movement that I and others are part of. While I was there, I also got to hear several other good reports on the Emergent church conversation and the “missional church” movement. For the latter, Al Hirsh was the presenter. He was, as … [Read more...]

A Seat at The Table: Negative Space, Part II, The Art of Doing Nothing

I wrote last month about the value of 'negative space' in worship settings, but the same principle has similar effects in the life of the larger organization.  Of course most reasonable people would look at flat churches, offer an exasperated sigh, and say, "Organization?  What organization? I don't see any!"  And while it is true that there is a lack of top-down structure, even grassroots emergence churches will often naturally employ the use of negative space to get certain jobs done. At … [Read more...]

Church On The Internet

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Last month I had the privilege of interviewing Chris Smith of Englewood Christian Church on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Chris joined me for the monthly Twitter #missionalchat in February, and then we sat down to record this half-hour conversation about his new e-book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press) and his forthcoming book Slow Church, co-authored with John Pattison. Watch: This month I'm looking forward to chatting with Bruce Reyes-Chow about his latest bold initiative … [Read more...]