Who Will You Grow Old With?

Panera-Bread

Editor's Note: The simplest questions are often the most profound. They are also the ones we often forget to ask. Those were just a couple of my thoughts after reading this excellent post from Scott Emery, who writes about creation, community, and commission from Phoenix, New York. This post originally appeared on Scott's blog. It seems like a great addition to the Slow Church conversation, and I'm grateful to Scott for letting us post it here. … [Read more...]

G.K. Chesterton on Santa Claus

Victorian Santa Claus

I love G.K. Chesterton's take on Santa Claus. I wrote this blog post a couple years ago about my daughter, fairy tales, and why I like Chesterton's perspective so much:Molly is three now, and her excitement over Christmas is infectious. She learned the Christmas story this year, mostly from her grandmother, who helped her make finger puppets of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, wise men, and the angel. A glittery horse and plastic monkey are the only animals in the manger. Molly is able to shoehorn Santa Claus into the incarnation somehow, but Kate and I don't go out of our way to … [Read more...]

How to Be a Poem

Today I was thinking about spiritual formation and what came to mind was a poem by Wendell Berry, the Kentucky writer, farmer, and activist. The poem is called "How To Be a Poet." But I think it could be re-titled "How To Be a Poem." Here's what I mean: the New Testament says we are "God's workmanship." The word used for "workmanship," poiema, is the same word from which we get our word "poem." Thus, it's not too much of a stretch to say that we are "God's poem." So much of what Berry describes here is good advice not just for the poet but for anyone who wants to put themselves in the loving h … [Read more...]

Boomers, Stickers, and the Lifecycle of a Community

Silverton Top Ten

A few days ago, I read an interesting article over at The Atlantic Cities called the "The Lifecycle of a 'Cool' Neighborhood." The sociologist and historian Richard Greenwald writes in the article that "Declaring the death of hip neighborhoods seems to be an endless right of passage in Gotham." It comes with the territory of knowing and labeling - articulating really - what matters in a rootless city. Neighborhoods come and go - and I mean that in the Brooksian Bo-Bo way.During the 20th century it was Greenwich Village, Harlem, SoHo, Tribeca, the Lower East Side, and then Brooklyn. At fi … [Read more...]

False Economies and False Gods

Bull

This morning I was re-reading my favorite Wendell Berry essay, "Discipline and Hope," which has become an essential text for me in trying to understand the meaning and implications of Slow Church. I was struck today by a short passage on the ways we have come to idolize the present economy. Berry writes:   "If the Golden Rule were generally observed among us, the economy would not last a week. We have made our false economy a false god, and it has made blasphemy of the truth. So I have met the economy in the road, and am expected to yield it right of way. But I will not get over. My reason is … [Read more...]

Jean Vanier: From Brokenness to Community

Jean-Vanier

Let me pick up on where Chris left off and post something here to mark the birthday of Jean Vanier. My first book was called Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture. The subtitle of Besides the Bible doesn't really reflect the goal of the book, which was simply to recommend 100 books my co-authors and I thought every Christian should read. One of the essays I wrote for Besides the Bible was about Vanier's masterpiece, From Brokenness to Community, a book that has profoundly influenced the way I think about community and communion. Here is what I … [Read more...]

Believing is Seeing

silverton-oregon

Several times over the last few days, sometimes in very different contexts, I found myself thinking about the relationship between seeing and believing. The default assumption for grown-ups is that “Seeing is believing.” This is a good approach to some problems: testing scientific hypotheses, for example, and evaluating the promises of politicians. But what if we rely too heavily on the primacy of proof? What if there is something essential – and therefore essentially missing – in the more childlike belief that “Believing is seeing”?I spent some time driving around Silverton, Mount Angel, a … [Read more...]


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