Deconstructing Caesar (Salad)

descontruct_caesar

My wife Pam and I spend New Years Eve with our friends Bob Scott and Sharon Linnea.  Bob’s hobby is gourmet cooking and this year, like previous ones, did not disappoint.  One of the seven or eight (I lost count) courses of the evening was a Caesar salad deconstruction.  I was unfamiliar with deconstruction in regard to food.  Basically, a deconstructed dish is one that takes foods that are normally combined, changes their forms and puts them on the plate in a different way.  In this case, the el … [Read more...]

Shirley Jones, Marlon Brando and God. [Improvisational Christianity]

The actual scene being shot. That's my back...Shirley's face.

Warning: Name-dropping ahead!I had the pleasure this summer to work opposite Shirley Jones. Shirley won the Academy Award for her role in Elmer Gantry in 1960. She may be better known these days as Mrs. Partridge, but she was a certified top-of-the-A-list movie star 50 years ago. We did a scene together in our latest romantic comedy, A Strange Brand of Happy. Brad Wise, the director, asked us to simply improvise a conversation to see what might happen. Brad knows that I am an improv guy and … [Read more...]

From Where I Stand: Coming of Age in The Village

"Life Together" Photo by Paul Soupiset

“It takes a village to raise a child,” or so the African proverb suggests.By way of introduction, I’m one of those unfamiliar people Doug mentioned when he introduced this blog almost a month ago now.What excites me the most about this blog is the rich diversity of voices that are present in the collective conversation. I’ll be contributing from where I stand and while my vantage point has much common ground with many of the other contributors, I’ll be writing from the perspective of what … [Read more...]

Is God Fun? [Improvisational Christianity #3]

skateboard_grandpa_old_man_skate_park_funny_humor_cool_haha_lol_rofl_smiles

This is the third post in my exploration of Improvisational Christianity. You may want to catch up by reading the first two posts:1. Improvisational Christianity: I Hope You Like Me2. Saturday Night Live, Modernity and StoriesThe first rule of improv we looked at last week was “Tell a Story.” This week we look at the second rule I learned as an improviser:Rule #2 - Everyone Plays.Deeply embedded in this rule is that improvisation is supposed to be fun and communal.So i … [Read more...]

The Process of Emergent Village Theological Conversation

Over the last dozen years Emergent Village has hosted conversations with Theologians. The idea is to put practioners in conversation with theoreticians. The conversations have spanned a wide spectrum of perspectives.The 2012 conversation will be with Process Theologians January 31-Feb 2, 2012 at Clairmont School of Theology in the Los Angeles area.You may not be familiar with Process thought, or may have written it off, or may be an adherent. Regardless you are invited to this … [Read more...]

The Magi Myth

magi

I have no real problem with believing that actual Magi saw a funky astrological phenomenon and found a Jewish baby a few years later. I don’t deny that supernatural things like that can happen.I also don’t have a problem with the story in Matthew 2 being midrashic.I spent most of my life wanting the story to be historical. For some reason this year I want it to be mythic. We are hungry for myth. History is great for telling us who we were and why we are the way we are. Myth is better for … [Read more...]

Christmas…a revolution birthed in pain

" Silent night, Holy night...all is calm, all is bright ", every christmas we sing this carol. Usually candles in hand, flickering flames dancing on the walls like some angelic visitation. And we reflect on the birth of the God-child. Having two daughters and being present for both of their entrances into this world, I recall vividly it was anything but silent. Despite the pre-natal and birthing classes when the moment came, calmness and a plan were abandoned...for what ever works. Me standing … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]

G|od, After the Or(g)y

there is so much meaning that meaning itself  has ceased to exist. somehow, due to the overuse of ideology, concepts, 'truth' and other colloquialisms there is no more reality to experience.the cliche has become too cliche. it is not that reality does not exist. but it is that reality has been hidden behind that which we assume has been reality all along. and then when we peel the curtains back, due to the pregnancy of over-meaning, reality is yet again hidden behind itself. let me … [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...]


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