New Years Resolutions

With the New Year upon us, it is the time for New Years resolutions.  These have become sort of a joke in our society for the propensity for being dropped in a few months or weeks or days.However this does not stop the marketing machine in America.  You can expect to get an assortment of opportunities for gym memberships or dietary supplements in the next week (I have already gotten several) with specials such as waived entrance fees and discounts for signing up for a whole year, etc.  We la … [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...]

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...]

Racism and the Fear of the Other

images-1

Woops! It surfaced again. Most of the country was shocked to hear the news of an interracial couple being kicked out of the all White, Freewill Baptist Church in Pikeville Kentucky last week. Sure, we were a bit surprised but after all, it is “rural Kentucky” and wasn’t the word “Baptist” used? Easily dismissed as a anomaly, we store the occurrence in the “you know you’re a redneck when” file of our brain and move on but please…Not so fast…What about October 2009 when a Justice of the Peace i … [Read more...]

Why I am Emergent, Part 2: Multivocality

As an addendum to last weeks post on the conversational element of Emergent, I want to assert my belief that when it comes to voices in the conversation, more is better.In one of our Twin Cities Emergent Cohort meetings several years ago I rememberTony Jones saying that the fear of many concerning open discussion in biblical or theological small groups is that heresy will rule the day.  “If everyone has a say,” the argument goes, “there will be no truth.”  Tony rightly argued that it is a … [Read more...]

Improvisational Christianity: I hope you like me.

This is what I look like. (As an Amish farmer.)

Starting a blog for a new "audience" is awkward.This first post feels a little like a Match.com-ish plea for you to like me. Just so you know, I really do want you to like me. I love the approval of strangers.  That said, I will pretend like I don't care what you think of me. My shrink calls that instinct "self-preservation" and I am really good at it.I'm thankful that Doug Pagitt invited me into the conversation on this blog. With no sense of false humility (just genuine, completely … [Read more...]

But How Amazing Is It That We Get To Help?

Bob and his beard.

This Advent we are looking at the Christmas story through the lens of the Mission of God. So, this last Sunday we got to walk through parts of Isaiah asking, "What will this Kingdom God is bringing thru Jesus look like?" We want to know, if God is about the rescue and renewal of the world, what will that encompass? And more, what's OUR part in the story?Words like peace, justice, fairness, wholeness and flourishing (shalom)... This is what we are promised God is bringing about even now- … [Read more...]

Choice Lamb

choice lamb

I receive emails everyday at nakedpastor from people who have left the church. They share with me their struggle to learn how to live without it. Here's a slice from one such letter: We were told to leave a church because we had become tools of Satan in the fellowship. So we were handed over to Satan to do his will for punishment. All because of a difference of opinion regarding actions we believed were unloving.Anyway, person after person has encouraged me to find another church with … [Read more...]


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