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.

  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 … [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...]

The Parable of the Old Runner

OldRunner

There's an old runner I know who recently shared a story that I think will be helpful for churches that desire to be healthy. (Actually, it probably would be helpful for all communities: neighborhoods, other faith communities, etc., but this is the Slow CHURCH blog after all and our audience here is mostly Christian).  The Old Runner realized earlier this year that after over a decade of pretty-much-not-running, he had grown fat and out-of-shape. So, he worked hard for several months, and started running regularly, and felt himself getting back into decent shape, and worked up to … [Read more...]

Slow Church, Sin and Repentance.

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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 last month) recently sent me an email with a couple of very thoughtful questions about the Slow Church book.  I will be answering these questions here over the next week.  Here is the first one:“[You] make scant reference to sin and repentance. On a whole, Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus reads as one option among many to live out life in Christ, but nothing is really at stake. In his Rom … [Read more...]

Jen Pollock Michel – Teach us to Want [Patheos Book Club]

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 [ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of Teach Us to Want ]Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith Jen Pollock Michel IVP Books, 2014In her debut book, Jen Pollock Michel offers us an exquisite meditation on what it means to be human, to walk the tightrope between dismissing our desires as evil and wholly abandoning ourselves to them. Teach us to Want is a compelling mix of personal narrative and biblical reflection that ever-so-gently nudges us into deeper contemplation of our desires, the God who created us to desire and the ends towards which … [Read more...]


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