Ken Wytsma – The Grand Paradox [Patheos Book Club]

[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of THE GRAND PARADOX ]The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith Ken Wytsma Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015.In my early years of college, I went through somewhat of a crisis of faith, questioning who God was and how God relates to humanity. It was a pretty bleak time, but eventually through long series of conversations with friends and through reading certain works of writers in the Christian tradition like C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and Frederick Buechner, I eventually grew into a … [Read more...]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Slow Church…

Today is the birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, born in Breslau, Prussia in 1906.   I recently discovered the following passage from Bonhoeffer, which gets to the heart of Slow Church. Incidentally, this passage can be found in the book Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons, which happens to be on sale right now for Kindle! ($3.79)  Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on … [Read more...]

Worst Christian Book Covers of 2014…

The Englewood Review of Books has just released its annual list of The Worst Christian Book Covers.   As usual the list has gotten mixed reviews: many folks in the publishing business get a good laugh and laud the list for calling out poor workmanship; others chide us for what they perceive as meanness and mockery (see the comments on the list for instance).  So, why do we do the list year after year?  My friend Karen Swallow Prior wrote a wonderful reflection on last year's list for Christianity Today, and in it she articulated well our intent:Bad Christian art that reflects a l … [Read more...]

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Ferguson and Our Broken Justice System

I'm deeply saddened, but not really surprised by the grand jury's decision tonight in Ferguson.The fundamental disconnect is that Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch could stand there and say that there was no question that Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown (who --although this was never explicitly offered in the statement -- was UNARMED), and yet there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trial.  This is the broken system in which we live, a society so enamored with guns and violence that it is permissible to shoot and kill an unarmed person and not even face a trial … [Read more...]

Justice that Leavens the World.

While in the DC area this week speaking and promoting Slow Church, I had the opportunity this morning to visit a friend of mine who works at International Justice Mission (IJM).  I had the privilege of sitting in on IJM's daily prayer service today, where they shared various facets of their work and offered thanksgiving and requests in prayer.  IJM is doing powerful work around the globe, diligently working for the justice of women, fighting the sex trade, working to end the violence that lies at the root of much poverty and injustice in the world.At the same time, I am reading Scot M … [Read more...]

Slow Church Book Tour – Mid-Atlantic States – Nov. 2014

Well, I (Chris) am excited to be doing a bunch of Slow Church events in the Mid-Atlantic states next month... I'm looking forward to going back to the area in which I grew up, to meeting new folks and to igniting some conversations about Slow church!If you live near one of these events, I hope you can be there and bring a friend or two.If you don't live close enough, maybe you have friends -- particularly in the DC or Lancaster/York, PA areas -- that might enjoy participating in a conversation about Slow Church.  Please help me spread the word! (I have provided Facebook invites with … [Read more...]

Chris Smith and Tim Soerens in Conversation [ Video]

Intervarsity Press has just released a video that Tim Soerens (one of the co-authors of The New Parish) and I filmed at the Wild Goose Festival this summer...Filming this was one of the most fun Slow Church interviews that I've done so far, and I am delighted to share it with you here!Watch it and then I would love if you could share it with others on Facebook on Twitter...   … [Read more...]


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