JPUSA: A Tragic History of Sexual Abuse

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Although I heard awhile back that that this documentary on the sexual abuse of minors at the Jesus People USA (JPUSA) Community in Chicago was in the works, I happened to see this article on the Christianity Today website this afternoon and saw that it was released today.  I knew that it would be one that I needed to watch, so I plunked down my ten bucks and downloaded the movie.  You see, I have been acquainted with JPUSA for over 20 years; I have visited their community a couple of times and have friends who are members or former members.  There was a block of 5 or 6 years -- before my wife a … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Go To Church

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There has been a lot of buzz online in recent days about the value of church attendance.  Initiated by a pair of posts by Donald Miller, ( The initial post... and the followup.), who bravely confessed that he rarely goes to church, Miller's posts were followed up by this piece on Christianity Today's PARSE blog, which dug a little deeper but had more of the feel of an expose, and didn't get to the heart of what seems (to me anyway) to be the crucial issues about church.I appreciate Donald's honesty -- and Brian McLaren's as well, in response to the PARSE piece -- and I have no interest … [Read more...]

Phil Kenneson: A Philosophical Argument for Slow Church

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This week, I re-read this wonderful passage from Phil Kenneson's superb essay "There's no such thing as objective truth, and it's a good thing too" (in the volume Christian Apologetics in the Postmodern World).  Phil will be one of our speakers for The Slow Church Conference, April 3-5.To summarize Phil's argument here, Christianity is better off without objective truth, because we are then driven deeper into our calling as good, vibrant (and I would add Slow) church communities.What do you think?  Do you buy Phil's argument here?  But I don’t want to stop at saying that C … [Read more...]

Alan Hirsch offers the first blurb for the Slow Church book!

Alan Hirsch

We received our first blurb for the Slow Church book today... from Alan Hirsch: "Chris and John have done a fantastic job of envisioning a wholesomely sustainable, spiritually alluring, and thoroughly kingdom-centric church that is simply fulfilling its purpose of witnessing to Jesus in the rhythms of God’s grace. I just have to join in! An inspiring read."Funny story about this.  When I inquired with Alan about the blurb, he said he'd be willing to write one, but might not get it done within the timeframe we needed it.  He joked that life was a bit "fast" for him now... Apparently, by fas … [Read more...]

From Frankenstein’s Monster to The Body of Christ

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 I have had several conversations over the last week that reminded me how little regard we have for the church as the body of Christ.In reflecting on those conversations, I began to wonder if Dr. Frankenstein's monster might be a fitting image for how we typically think of the body of Christ: a collection of parts, thrown together (and easily interchangeable) and animated by some external, mystical force like a lightning bolt.Having been deeply formed by the individualism of Western Culture, we are trained to narrate our lives primarily as individuals and to think of … [Read more...]

Slow Church and Comprehensive Community Development ( CCDA talk )

I had the opportunity to do a workshop on Slow Church and Comprehensive Community Development at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference in New Orleans last Friday.  We had a standing-room only crowd (albeit in a small room), but a very engaged audience with a good questions.  Thanks to all who came out to the workshop!If you weren't able to be there, a condensed version of the talk appears as an essay in the current print issue of The Englewood Review of Books (Subscribers, your issues will be arriving soon.  If you are not a subscriber more info is available he … [Read more...]

The Table of Brotherhood: On Having Adversaries.

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"No man is my enemy My own hands imprison me Love rescue me"   - U2 I was deeply disturbed by this Religion News Service article that got picked up by Christianity Today: Top Three Adversaries of Christian Conservatives: Communism, Islam ... and the Emergent Church? Why do we feel, as Christians, that we need to have enemies?  And especially why are we identifying other Christians as enemies? And to think that I encountered this piece on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and its words were echoing in my ear:I have a dream that one day out in the re … [Read more...]


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