Anointed? … Evangelicals and Authority 5 (RJS)

I recently received, courtesy of the publisher, a copy of the new book The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age by Randall Stephens, an associate professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College and Karl Giberson, formerly a professor of Physics at Eastern Nazarene. Giberson has now moved on to concentrate on a number of [Read More…]

Church for the Next Christians … Community or Mission? (RJS)

In Weekly Meanderings this week Scot linked to a post by Chaplain Mike aka Michael Mercer on The Internet Monk: A Rant from a Loser in the Worship Wars. Mercer clarified his points in a follow-up post the next day: Let Me Restate That … A Rant Clarified. These posts are worth a careful read [Read More…]

What is “church”?

Mike Mercer, one who has taken up the task of Michael Spencer at iMonk, has a great post about church and what’s going on today … and it meshes well with my post this morning. My take on what has happened over the course of the last forty years is as follows. In evangelicalism in [Read More…]

Secularizing Kingdom

The word “secular” and the word “kingdom” should not be brought together. The paradox of what I’m hearing is that “kingdom” is being overwhelmed by the word “secular.” Example: last Thursday in my Introduction to the Bible class I discussed what “kingdom” means in the teachings of Jesus. I sketched a few ideas that I [Read More…]

Spiritual Disciplines … for a Church 4

Quite the story in this chp: James Smith was invited to speak to a group of denominational leaders; they wanted him to speak about spiritual formation; he began with a funny story and then by listing the various “means of grace” that were part of the spiritual formation movement.

It all went downhill from there, including a leader standing up and turning his chair around to turn his back to Smith; a few left; 55 minutes into his four-hour session he took a break; he was told it was not going well; he asked to leave; they took him to the airport.

What to learn from this one? (Beside the obvious: learn the theology of the group you are addressing.) [Read more…]

Church Disciplines…for a Church 1

For a few years I have occasionally pondered devoting research and writing time to a project on the spiritual disciplines for a local church. Nearly every study on spiritual disciplines I’ve seen are devoted 100% to individuals doing things along — praying, solitude, contemplation, fasting, etc.. While some of these can be done with others, the discipline itself is done by an individual.

What are the “church” spiritual disciplines?

James Bryan Smith’s newest book, in my estimation, is the best book I’ve seen on this topic: The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love (The Apprentice Series). I want to drill down a little more to focus on this issue: We need to think more — together — on the “spiritual disciplines” a church is to do and a church is to grow into and to which a church wants to hold itself accountable.

What are those disciplines? Which ones stand out at the top in your list? Say, the top three for you? [Read more…]