On Making Tents [Economics of Church and Seminary #1]

Photo Credit: David Wheeler. Used with permission

We're delighted to have a guest post today (the first in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler's article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt. *** You can find this series's introductory post by Chris Smith here... ***  On Making Tents – My story Justin Barringer They say “Don’t read the comments.” In fact, my wife especially warned me not to read the comments after the article featuring me in The Atlantic was published. She was right. But, the rebel I am decided to read them anyway. Generally the comments broke down into four ty … [Read more...]

Reimagining the Economics of Church and Seminary

Church-Image-BW

Several weeks ago, The Atlantic ran a much-discussed article on the high cost of seminary, amidst the struggling economy of churches.  The article reminded us of a question that John and I have been getting often as we are out on the road talking about Slow Church:How can our church afford to be guided by a Slow, "Small is beautiful" philosophy when the economic pressure -- either from denominations or from the personal load of debt that our pastors bear -- is driving us to take the tempting shortcuts of "fast church"?Let me begin by saying that we don't have any easy solutions to … [Read more...]

The Christology of Slow Church?

The_Crucifixion

My friend Tato Sumantri, of Church of the Servant King in Eugene, Oregon (which incidentally hosted one of the Slow Church events that John and I did in the Pacific Northwest in June) recently sent me an email with a couple of very thoughtful questions about the Slow Church book.  This is the second and final post in response to Tato:[ AND HERE is Tato's first question on Sin and Repentance ]  “What does Jesus have to do with any of this [in the Slow Church book]? What is preventing a slow church movement from being just another sociological phenomenon, like the slow food movement? We ar … [Read more...]

J.R. Briggs – FAIL [Patheos Book Club]

Fail-FINAL-COVER

[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of FAIL ]Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. J.R. Briggs IVP Books, 2014One of the characteristics of McDonaldization named in sociologist George Ritzer’s important book, The McDonaldization of Society, is the desire for control. As John Pattison and I have argued in the  Slow Church book, the effects of McDonaldization have become deeply entrenched in churches, just as they have in the broader culture.  One of the bitter fruits of the desire for control that I have observed in churches is a deep ave … [Read more...]

The Spoken Word vs. The Written Word

The Spoken Word

I've been writing about lectio divina this week, as part of my next book project on Reading for the Common Good.  I'm fascinated by the early monastic practice of (almost always) reading aloud, which not only was common practice in that day, but also served to engage the body as well as the mind in learning and meditating upon scripture.  As part of my research, I encountered the following passage from Eugene Peterson's Eat this Book.I had never really thought about how important the spoken word is and how the written word is a reduction of the spoken word, eliminating such important c … [Read more...]

I stand with Mike Brown.

MBrown

On Saturday afternoon, an unarmed African-American man, Mike Brown, was shot and killed by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri. I have written here before about lament being our first response to shooting tragedies, and I grieve for the family and friends of Mike Brown.Given the facts as we currently know them: 1) Mike Brown was unarmed 2) Mike Brown was the sole target of the police action there was no reason for him to be shoot multiple times, or to be killed.  This is police brutality, plain and simple. Many of us here at Englewood have seen police brutality here in our urban … [Read more...]

Hope for Iraq. For other conflict zones. And for the world.

Hope

By now you probably have heard about Jeremy Courtney who launched the hashtag #WeAreN, as a show of solidarity for persecuted Christians in Iraq.   Courtney founded the non-profit Preemptive Love, which works in Iraq, to "[eradicate] the backlog of Iraqi children waiting in line for lifesaving heart surgery" and pursuing "peace between communities at odds."Courtney recently did an interview with Huffington Post Religion editor Paul Rauschenbusch, which grabbed my attention.  Specifically, he said: We need a long-term plan, not just a short-term fix. There are agencies helping Christians, Y … [Read more...]


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