Enter to win a copy of Reborn on the Fourth of July (Patheos Book Club)

Nationalistic faith is one of the "sins of abstraction" that we push back against in the in Slow Church book because in preferring one nation over others, it fails to consider the whole of God's work in reconciling all creation.Thus, I was delighted to see that the current Patheos book club title is Logan Mehl-Laituri's Reborn on the Fourth of July...For decades now, the United States has proudly claimed the mantle of "the world's only superpower" based on military might and the scope of military interventions throughout the world. As a result, whole generations are growing up with the … [Read more...]

Conversation, Identity and Christian Unity.

I have been keenly following Timothy Dalrymple's posts this week about partisan scorn and his critical response to Rachel Held Evans' well-traveled post “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation”...  Although I'm a bit skeptical of Dalrymple's choice of Evans as an example of  "selling scorn," I'm not really going to comment on their back and forth, as I don't have a stake in either side of that conversation.What was of interest to me, in light of my concern for our churches as hubs of conversation were these excellent three points that Dalrymple offered at the end of his most recent … [Read more...]

Following Christ in a World of Distractions (RIP, Ray Bradbury).

As you probably have heard by now, Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and other novels passed away yesterday. (NY TIMES obit)My friend Chase Roden, sent me the following reflection this morning, which I share here, since a key part of what we are calling Slow Church is vigilance and attentiveness to discerning together what is faithfulness and what is distraction.  Thank you, Chase. And R.I.P., Ray BradburyRay Bradbury died on Tuesday. I loved his books as a kid and never really returned to them after high school, but there's one scene -- from Fahrenheit 451 -- that has … [Read more...]

Walter Brueggemann Cuts to the Heart of Slow Church.

Was getting ready to starting writing the chapter on Abundance for the Slow Church book, by reading an article by Walter Brueggemann entitled "The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity" when I stumbled on the following words, which I just had to stop everything and share, as they so elegantly name what Slow Church is about:Wouldn't it be wonderful if liberal and conservative church people, who love to quarrel with each other, came to a common realization that the real issue confronting us is whether the news of God's abundance can be trusted in the face of the story of … [Read more...]

Alan Roxburgh – Call to the Parish [Video]

Here's a video clip of Alan Roxburgh talking about "The Call to the Parish" at The Inhabit Conference last month...John and I both have been challenged by Roxburgh's work, and especially his recent book, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood (Baker, 2011 -- Read my review of this book on The Englewood Review of Books website). … [Read more...]

Slow Church and the Mainline Churches.

Had a fabulous time over the last few days at the Academy of Parish Clergy annual gathering in Dayton, Ohio.  I found the diverse group of mostly mainline pastors to be extraordinarily hospitable, specifically in inviting me to represent The Englewood Review of Books there (Thanks, Bob Cornwall for the invitation!) and in allowing me to share bits of our story here at Englewood Christian Church (briefly recounted in my recent ebook, The Virtue of Dialogue).  Also, it was wonderful to meet Carol Howard Merritt, who was the main conference speaker, and chat with her about some of the challenges f … [Read more...]

Technology, Community and Discernment.

John's post on Saturday on the Moral Importance of the iPhone reminded me of one of my favorite courses in college, an honors seminar on technology and community.  This class was my first deep immersion into the works of Wendell Berry, and it was also where I first encountered the work of the Amish writer David Kline. A major thrust of the course was reflecting on the ways in which our choices about technology impact the shape of our communities (as families, as churches and as neighborhoods.  One of the pieces we read for the class was Wendell Berry's little essay "Why I am NOT going to buy a … [Read more...]