Prayer and the Contingencies of Life.

This post is (sort of) a follow-up to my recent post Becoming the Exploited Ones?A life of ceaseless prayer is key to moving in the direction that I described in the post mentioned above...But what does it mean to pray without ceasing?I have long thought that the spirit of prayer is "not my will but thine be done," as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. But recently, I've been reflecting on what Jesus's prayer might mean.Life is full of contingencies, of things that could possibly go wrong.  The nature of modern Western cukture is to eliminate as many of the contingencies … [Read more...]

A Question for Phyllis Tickle.

I have been at the Emergence Christianity gathering in Memphis for the last day and a half.  The focus of this conference is celebrating the life and work of Phyllis Tickle.  It's been delightful to hear Phyllis speak, after praying the Divine Hours for over a decade and reading many of her other books.Phyllis gave two lengthy talks -- both astoundingly without any notes at all! -- that gave shape to a historical narrative for emergence Christianity.  The basic thrust of this history was that there have been major cultural upheavals every 500 years, which coincided with major transitions in … [Read more...]

Becoming the Exploited Ones?

I re-encountered these passages from Wendell Berry's book THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE this weekend.(Caveat: Berry uses the terms "redskin" and the n-word, in ways that explore the demeaning tone that these words carried -- and still carry.  Berry's economic point is clear, but I am conflicted about his use of these loaded terms)Read from "But we know..." on page 36 to "the industrial systems of Europe" page 37:Start after the asterisks on page 42 through the end of the chapter: Berry's point is clear -- and one that John and I make in the SLOW CHURCH book -- modern W … [Read more...]

Trusting in a Promise-Keeping God [Living Into Community #4]

This is the fourth in an Advent series of eight posts that will wind their way through Christine Pohl’s new book Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans 2012 Buy now: Amazon // Kindle ).  This book was chosen as The Englewood Review’s Book of the Year for 2012, and as I hope will become abundantly clear over the Advent season, it fits very well with what John and I have been describing as Slow Church.[ Read an Excerpt of LIVING INTO COMMUNITY ]The Previous Post in the Series…In the season of Advent, we wait for the coming of Jesus, and wait as the Isra … [Read more...]

Nurturing and Strengthening Gratitude [Living Into Community #3]

This is the third in an Advent series of eight posts that will wind their way through Christine Pohl’s new book Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans 2012 Buy now: Amazon // Kindle ).  This book was chosen as The Englewood Review’s Book of the Year for 2012, and as I hope will become abundantly clear over the Advent season, it fits very well with what John and I have been describing as Slow Church.[ Read an Excerpt of LIVING INTO COMMUNITY ]The Previous Post in the Series… After a chapter on the complications that surround the practice of gr … [Read more...]

The Cross and the AK-47?

Debates about gun control are raging in the wake of yet another mass shooting.  The issues surrounding these recent shootings are complex, mental illness, a culture shaped by recreational violence and yes, of  course, access to guns. I don't really want to debate gun control right now; in fact, I'm not opposed to all guns.  What I am opposed to, however, is the fear that drives people to own (and defend the ownership of) guns that are intended for nothing other than the taking of human life.  And this fear is a theological issue that must be addressed among Christians... I'm laying down a cha … [Read more...]

Waiting in Expectation for the Transformation of the World [Living Into Community #2]

This is the second in an Advent series of eight posts that will wind their way through Christine Pohl’s new book Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans 2012 Buy now: Amazon // Kindle ).  This book was chosen as The Englewood Review’s Book of the Year for 2012, and as I hope will become abundantly clear over the Advent season, it fits very well with what John and I have been describing as Slow Church.[ Read an Excerpt of LIVING INTO COMMUNITY ]The First Post in the Series...In the season of Advent, we await the coming of Jesus, in whom healing and tran … [Read more...]