Sunday Book Review: ADVENT CONSPIRACY

What better book could there be to recommend on the first Sunday of Advent?  For more on what the Advent Conspiracy is, see John's recent post here, Plotting an Advent Conspiracy.  You might also be interested in this video with one of the AC instigators Chris Seay, talking about slowing our pace during the holidays.This review originally appeared in The Englewood Review of Books... “To Honor the Incarnation” A Review of Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World? By Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder. Reviewed by Chris Smith. [ Read an Excerpt from … [Read more...]

Sunday Afternoon Book Review: The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark

Few writers have the capacity that David Dark has, to orchestrate familiar stories from literature and popular culture as part of engaging theological discourse. In his new book The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, David emphasizes that questioning, and more broadly that conversation, is an essential practice in the life of the Church. Indeed, conversation is fundamental to our identity as the community of God’s people, relating to one another and to God. It is a lost art that must be recovered and Dark skillfully navigates the complexity of life in conversation and we -- who a … [Read more...]

Sunday Afternoon Book Review: SCRIPTURE, CULTURE, AND AGRICULTURE by Ellen Davis.

This is one of the most helpful books in thinking about how we read the Bible and offers a way of reading the Bible that is much more in line with what we are describing here as Slow Church.(This review originally appeared in The Englewood Review of Books, 9 October 2009) “Of Mules and Mission” A Review of Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible. by Ellen F. Davis. Paperback: Cambridge UP, 2008. Buy now: [ Amazon ] Reviewed by Stan Wilson.I am a Mississippi Baptist pastor who has begun to see the world differently because of the work … [Read more...]

Dorothy Day’s Birthday

The-Long-Loneliness

Today is the birthday of Dorothy Day - the journalist and social activist who co-founded the Catholic Worker movement. To mark the occasion, I'm posting the essay I wrote about Day's classic autobiography, The Long Loneliness. The essay first appeared in Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture (Biblica, 2010). I also encourage you to check out this wonderful video of Dorothy Day on the Christopher Closeup show.The photograph on the cover of HarperOne’s 1997 edition of The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day’s classic spiritual autobiography, captures the c … [Read more...]

Getting to the heart of Slow Church

Food and Faith - Norman Wirzba

If there is one short work that gets to the heart of what Slow Church is about, it is the chapter "Eucharistic Table Manners" from Norman Wirzba's new book Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.It is from Wirzba, and from John Howard Yoder before him, that we borrow the central image of the Slow Church as that of a shared meal: The ritualized character of the Eucharist sometimes causes people to forget that the supper was a meal.  It was not a nibbling session, but the place where the disciples came together to obtain their inspiration, strength and sustenance.  The evidence of the early c … [Read more...]

Sunday Afternoon Book Review: SEEING TREES.

[There have been a multitude of books that have been helpful for John and I in fleshing out the concept of Slow Church.  We will regularly feature a review of one such book every Sunday afternoon. ]One discipline necessary for resisting the speed and inattentiveness of Western culture is seeing.  Although the following book takes trees as its object, it is really about recovering practices of seeing and attention. And given that trees of some sort are pretty much everywhere, Seeing Trees is a helpful guide for all of us in learning to slow down and pay attention to the good gifts of God t … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Stanley Hauerwas: The local church as alternative to a culture of violence

I recently finished reviewing Stanley Hauerwas's newest book War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity for Sojourners magazine.  I won't rehash my whole review here, as it will be available in due time, but I will say that the most striking thing about the book was his turn toward the local church congregation in the third and final part, a direction in which his work has made gestures in the past, but has never gone as far as he does here.The finest essay in the collection, is entitled "A Particular Place," and while I was writing my review … [Read more...]


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