Authentic Jesus Generations: Woodstock to Wild Goose by Randy Woodley

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Although there is not much in general these days that one can say about the church, perhaps the clearest sign we have of change is the ever-widening gap between what I will dub the still too common, “Sunday morning church-building crowd” and all the new faith movements including, for example, Emergents, Neo-monastics, Evangelicals 4 Justice, NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) and Jesus Radicals,* (with homage to this faith lineage including organizations like, Ev … [Read more...]

Getting the Courage We Long For

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"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."  Maya Angelou Somehow in my thirties I became aware of how much of my life had been occupied and driven by fear and anxiety and I wanted that to change.  A noticed a conversation about fear was rising to a public sphere (i.e. shows on Oprah).  People who had been victims of violent crimes w … [Read more...]

Book: Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision by Randy Woodley

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From the Publisher, William B Eerdman's Publishing: In this book, Randy Woodley draws parallels between the Native American “Harmony Way” and the biblical concept of shalom, arguing that cultivating an appreciation of those parallels can help to bring reconciliation between Euro-Westerners and indigenous peoples, a new connectedness with the Creator and creation, an end to imperial warfare, the ability to live in the moment, justice, restoration, and a more biblically authentic spir … [Read more...]

Faith and Politics: ‘What’s Fair is Fair’ is not Fair Anymore by Randy S. Woodley

Ok, I have to admit I'm a history nerd. I read it, I watch it and I teach it professionally. Given the constant intersection of history and politics, I'm also quite interested in socio-political movements, trends and events. And I should say right up front, politically, I'm "all of the above"  on different issues, having voted on both sides and also for independents. But, in full disclosure, and this is a big 'ol "but" for some of you; because of my experiences and my faith, at this time in my … [Read more...]

Strange Christianity Made in America: Part III by Randy Woodley

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I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ! -Gandhi Christians in America are infamous for being so unlike Jesus. I like the bumper sticker that says, “When Jesus said love your enemies I think he probably meant don’t kill them.” Ever wonder how Christians went from loving their enemies to killing them? We love to blame it all on Constantine, and true enough, he contributed to the problem, but I think the problem goes deeper and farther back—all the way to … [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 alw … [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 Co … [Read more...]

An Evangelical Pentecostal Naturalist?

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I'm often described in the mainstream media as an 'Evangelical minister' or ‘Pentecostal preacher', even though I speak far more often in moderate and liberal churches (and in secular settings) than I do in Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Emerging Church venues. Not surprisingly, I've been asked on a number of occasions, by both religious liberals and conservatives, "In what sense do you consider yourself a Pentecostal Evangelical? And how does that mesh with you being an outspoken religious n … [Read more...]

my broken family (Church vs. Art)

J. M. W. Turner Rain, Steam and Speed c.1844

I love art. I teach it. I try to preach it to others. My faith is truly alive due to artists - both old and new. They imbue hope, life, and peace. Rembrandt and Michelangelo, Goya and Picasso, and more recently Wooster. These are my commentaries upon the Scriptures. As a Christian this often lands me in two worlds simultaneously. One foot in church related things and the other in creative arts. I've found the bridge is most often me. I enjoy mixing it up in both worlds, but it would be truly f … [Read more...]

I Like the Bible but I’m Not Sure I Know All the Words by Randy Woodley

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I had been learning to play bass guitar for two years when I was finally asked to be in a real band. The fact that I had a new Fender Jazz bass and an Acoustic 360 watt amp that I had worked and saved for the summer prior didn’t hurt my chances of being asked to be in the band. At 15 years old, I was anxious to show all the stuff that I knew, and as a singer I could remember an incredible number of words of various songs. There I was, for the first time with the band, in one of the member’s liv … [Read more...]


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