LAST DAY to help Englewood win $25K to complete our gardens!


 (John and I were both at the Inhabit conference over the weekend; it was wonderful as always and we will get some reflections on that posted later this week.)TODAY is the last day to vote for the Englewood Neighborhood on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis (where I live, work and worship), in its quest for a $25,000 grant Neighborhood Assist Grant from State Farm. Can you do two quick things that will be a huge help us? 1) Make sure that you vote 10 times for us today.  (People are allowed to vote daily, so even if you've voted previously, we'd love to get your vote today.  The c … [Read more...]

Holy Saturday and Unanswered Questions

Holy Saturday

[Author's Note: A couple years ago I was asked to contribute to an article for Relevant Magazine about "five things we wish our pastors knew." Other contributors included Anne Marie Miller, Enuma Okoro, Matthew Paul Turner, and Jason Boyett. I wrote my piece as a kind of open letter to our church's new pastor. I'm reposting it here because it was written during, and inspired by, Holy Week.]Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday represent the hinge of human history. We celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday because they make everything else possible. But I think it’s a mistake to m … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading: Sermon on the Mount #4


Reading the Sermon on the Mount has become a great way for my wife and I to spend some quiet time together in the morning before the day kicks into high gear. Today, she and I talked for a while about some patterns we saw in the "you have heard it said…but I tell you" passages in Matthew 5:21-48.We remembered that the familiar "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (Matthew 5:38) refers back to commands in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. The laws of ancient Israel authorized retaliation for injustices, but they also restrained the scope of vengeance. Retaliation was reciprocal. If I knock … [Read more...]

What is Missional Reading?


I was sitting down this morning to write the next post in the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" series, when I got distracted by an excellent post by Jon Boyd on the Intervarsity Press blog... [Question] Junot Díaz on Creating a Reading Public Boyd shares some excellent thoughts from novelist Junot Díaz, and then poses these questions: What are we doing these days, and what more could we be doing, to encourage readers in this day and age? Where have you seen bright spots, fertile nurseries of readers-in-the-making? What ideas do you have to multiply such incubators and make them e … [Read more...]

Visionary Dreaming

Community is what doesn't happen when we're busy making bigger plans. That's what came to mind as I re-read this passage from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's classic Life Together: … [Read more...]

God Tabernacling in our Weakness


Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice” today.  This is the sixth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: "I know something worse than hate...".Today's post is a bit tangential, but I believe it is necessary as we seek to explore Marva Dawn's understanding of how we as the Church respond to the powers of death and darkness in the world.  As I mentioned yesterday, the title of Dawn's book that I'm digging back into as I write this series is Powers, Weakness and the Tabernacling of God.  As part of this series on Slow Church and the urgen … [Read more...]

The Gospel of the Coffee Bean


[ I'm taking a break today from the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" series, which should return in the next couple of days]There's a chapter in the forthcoming book that John and I are calling "Taste and See that the Lord is Good."  Here's a snapshot of the basic theme of the chapter: God created us to flourish and to know the joy of life.  Just as something is lost in the taste and experience of a fast food meal, so too a key part of what is lost in the industrialization of Christianity is the joy of being together, of knowing and being known in community.  Industrialized Ch … [Read more...]