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...]

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

Teach-Us-to-Want-Cover1-140x210

 [ 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...]

In Sickness and in Health – Guest Post by Justin McRoberts

McBob

One of the wonderful things that happened at The Festival of Faith and Writing last month was that I had the opportunity to meet singer/songwriter Justin McRoberts.  We had some good conversations, and he was very interested in Slow Church. Justin recently wrote a wonderful book entitled CMYK: The Process of Life Together -- which I read in one sitting this past weekend! -- and which I hope to review very soon for The Englewood Review of Books. He recently sent me an excerpt from this book that is very pertinent to Slow Church, and I am delighted to share it with you here.Be sure to check … [Read more...]

A School for Kindness?

Saunders-Kindness

 One of the most interesting new books released this week is Congratulations, By The Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders. This hardback volume contains the graduation speech that Saunders gave at Syracuse University in 2013.  Although you can read the full text of the speech online, this lovely hardback would make a wonderful gift for all your friends and family who are graduating this spring!   [Also, watch a lovely video excerpt of the talk here ]I was especially captivated by this passage: Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably s … [Read more...]

Not Just for the Young and Hip…

Slow Church

We were thrilled with the RNS article on Slow Church that ran in The Washington Post (and at least a dozen other news outlets) over the weekend.  Great as the article was, there was one perplexing section, the interview with sociologist of religion Scott Thumma, who opined that Slow Church would appeal primarily to the young and hip demographic.  Our friend Brent Bill, who by his own admission, is neither young nor hip, has penned a response, which we are honored to share here... "We believe Slow Food and the other Slow movements hold important lessons for the American churches. They c … [Read more...]

Slow Church featured on the Books & Culture Podcast!

BandC

John and I received a pleasant surprise in our in-boxes this morning...SLOW CHURCH was featured on the Books and Culture podcast!!!John Wilson praises the book, and urges people to "walk, not run to your local Christian bookstore to buy it." He also offers some kind and thoughtful critique, which I hope to be able to respond to soon here on the blog.I really appreciated John Wilson's emphasis that this is a book to be read and discussed in churches -- even if you don't agree with all of it.Take a few minutes and listen now: CLICK HERE to download or listen to the B&C … [Read more...]


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