Why I Am Emergent, Part 3: Theologically Counter-Cultural

 Continuing in the series of processing through the reasons of why I resonate with the Emergent Movement (See week 1 and week 2), I’m left pondering being theologically countercultural.One of the first things I noticed as I began reading emergent books and blogs, visiting emergent churches and events, and meeting emergent people, was that there seemed to be a uniqueness about them and the way they were.  I have heard of a church that jokingly refers to themselves as “the island of mi … [Read more...]

My Spiritual Path to Virtual Community

Michael with his Sudanese students

Upon receiving a welcome email with a username and password, I paused to reflect. A frighteningly wonderful realization surfaced: I've walked alone to discover a virtual community. This marvelous opportunity to join the writers of Emergent Village once again affirms what my life has been shouting for years -- my peers truly dwell in cyberspace. Despite my failures to connect at the local church level, despite the mundane state of all things Michael, my spiritual journey entails this virtual … [Read more...]

Saturday Night Live, Modernity and Stories

justin-timberlake-snl-mother-lover

My life changed forever the day I wandered into an abandoned dance studio just west of the Las Vegas Strip on a Wednesday afternoon. It was my first professional improvisational comedy class at The Second City. I had no idea that my life was about to shift so dramatically. I had always been fascinated with improv and sketch comedy. As a kid, I used to sneak out of my room at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings to catch the last thirty minutes of Saturday Night Live. In high school I watched a … [Read more...]

Arab Spring an Inventive Age Reality

-

Over the last couple of years I have been suggesting that we are living in the fourth cultural epoch of North American culture. We have seen the Agrarian Age, the Industrial Age, the Information Age and now we are entering the Inventive Age.Each of these ages has particular ways of thinking, valuing, appreciating aesthetics and way of using tools. And all parts of culture including religious communities are created from these cultural situations.In Community in the Inventive Age, I … [Read more...]

Churches, Take Up Your Mats and Walk

There’s an old joke that speaks directly to one of the biggest issues holding back Churches these days:How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?Change? Who said anything about change?!?!I get asked to come in and help struggling churches all over the county. Most of them are aging and see the proverbial writing on the wall if something about their future doesn’t look different soon. Pretty often, I’m asked to unlock the secret to getting young people into the pews, th … [Read more...]

Is My Favorite Bible Story Biblical?

My favorite Bible story probably shouldn’t be in the Bible.I love the story of the woman caught in adultery found in John 8.  I have to be pushing 100 tellings of that particular story in my lifetime. To me, it is gospel in microcosm.But, here’s the thing I tend to gloss over about that section of Scripture. There is almost no chance that the story was in the original manuscript we label the book of John. I won’t bore you with the textual evidence for it. (Because I really don’t care to c … [Read more...]

Emerging Church Still Making Headlines

Reforme-cover-story-3442

The reports of the emerging church's death are greatly exaggerated. The existence of the new Emergent Village Voice blog is one example of a new chapter that's being written. My experience with the Charlotte Emergent cohort over the past eight years reminds me over and over as I meet and talk with new people joining the conversation every month. Then there's the ongoing media attention that this movement continues to receive, 10+ years on.Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and I were … [Read more...]

My Mormon Baptism

I am not a Mormon, but my neighbors are. They invited me as a guest to the baptism of their son. I reflect on the experience during my weekly radio show this week. There are a number of insights from that experience that may be meaningful to us all. … [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 ne … [Read more...]

Growing Cafe Churches Singapore Style

coffeebeans

"Why are people so upset at the emerging church?", Tim Wong asked me last night over a mango juice at a Balinese party.We didn't have time to plummet the jelloed depths of EC criticism, although I do enjoy the subject. But we did discuss cafe churches and how they have evolved from cheesy church-basement services in the 80's [GUILTY AS CHARGED] to state-of-the-art, Über-Funky couch-clad temples of Java and Bible that they have now become. Even here in Asia. Particularly in Asia, where cafe … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X