Rebellion and Awe

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I am grateful to my people of origin, the Evangelicals. Sure they scared the hell out of me, left me with a dank reservoir of guilt and shame, and gave me an image of God more like an alcoholic father than the author of love and mercy—but I am sure I will get over those things eventually.When I was growing up, we Evangelicals were still afraid of popular culture and condemned everything that wasn’t us—from Lutherans to The Love Boat to Roller Disco—it was all just different shades of the Devi … [Read more...]

EMBRACING THE ABSURD: the problem of ABSOLUTES and the promise of SUBJECTIVITY

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Soren Kierkegaard Series (Part Two) Disclaimer:This article will be significantly concise as the topic could fill volumes. I ask only one thing from my reader: check your presuppositions in at the door.Many that hold to the modernist worldview often cringe (I’m being very gracious here) at the idea that truth can be subjective. Many conversations over the years have taught me there are three main reasons for this: first, most have no idea what subjectivity really means ( … [Read more...]

The River of Years

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I’m at an age when thinking about age is something I do often. I reached my Medicare year, age 65, in March. Little did I or my fellow boomers think we would be cheering this milestone, because it means qualifying for medical insurance when many of us had lost any health insurance coverage a few anxious years ago.The age-old saw is that “aging is not for the timid.”I have to marshal my courage to face physical activities that I sailed through when younger, because my body has betrayed me … [Read more...]

Making Me a Channel of His Peace

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Two and a half years ago I attended my first Centering Prayer retreat at the St. Francis Renewal Center with a special group of all ages seeking God's friendship in the stillness. I sat in one of the later sessions of the weekend and began pleading with God:"I cannot do this on my own. I do not know enough to teach this meditation in the prisons as you've called me. Who am I to go forward in this way- I am a wife and mother and not an expert on this topic, by any means. I don't know enough … [Read more...]

The Re-Indigenisation of faith, indigenous people groups and Scottish Independence

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As I write from St Albans just north of London UK the people of Scotland are voting on whether to become an independent nation and no longer part of the United Kingdom. By the time this post is published we will know the outcome. I have mixed feelings about this. I have no Scottish heritage, though my wife’s family in part trace their heritage to Scottish farmers who came down with the last Catholic Scots claimant to the throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 to invade England and ended up as f … [Read more...]

Learning Action and Contemplation at Richard Rohr’s Living School

Mark Longhurst

Richard Rohr’s new Living School for Action and Contemplation has launched a new synthesis of Christian learning for which I believe the world is waiting. Nearly 1,500 people converged in New Mexico two weeks ago for Rohr’s second Conspire conference and Living School Symposium. Our vocations differed and our geographical homes stretched from Vancouver to Tokyo, but we all shared a common thirst to drink from the well of mystical Christianity. The all-star roster of teachers included Epi … [Read more...]

Pursuing the Peculiar

Russell Rathburn

There is of course the notion that we all want to find points of connection—we want a big tent, we want a broad-way. It has been a hallmark of this thing of ours, that it is okay to be you, and it is okay for me to be me and we will find a point where we connect and let us celebrate that.And I celebrate that.But what I am really interested in is the points where we diverge. Where we do not quite line up. I want to see the peculiar and the particular in you and I want you to see the p … [Read more...]

To Change Everything, We Need Everyone

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A year ago, Holly Roach and I were in New York City at the time of the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. This week, Occupy turned three, and this weekend, Holly and I will be in New York City again, this time to participate in the world's largest march for climate justice, the People's Climate March.We are going, because we are convinced that people of faith must act proactively and in partnership with other movements for positive social change if we are going to see … [Read more...]

The Never Ending Story and Constant Conversion

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“Conversion is a process, it is not a goal, not a product we consume. And it’s a bodily process, not only an emotional or intellectual one. The very cells in our body are busy changing, renewing themselves, every few days. Yet we remain recognizably ourselves. That is how conversion works, a paradox beautifully expressed in two vows that in two vows that are unique to Benedictine life. To join a monastic community, people promise stability, pledging to remain in that community for life. At the sa … [Read more...]

Authenticity and Community

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I love being part of the emergent movement. I love the space to think, learn, and grow, in ways that help bring faith to life. That space, one created in authenticity, and one that tries to live in authenticity, is something that I found liberating and engaging. As I started dipping my toe in the emergent stream, the world opened up. The Bible became more real. The exposure to older traditions than my own opened the door to new experiences of faith that have been tested over time and found … [Read more...]


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