Relationally-Based Community Development [Economics of Church and Seminary #3]

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We’re delighted to have a guest post today (the third in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler’s article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt.  *** You can find the previous posts in this series here… ***Relationally-Based Community Development and Social Enterprise Justin BarringerA while back I sat down with several of my homeless and formerly homeless neighbors to talk about our community. We talked about many things, about who was providing helpful goods and services, which churches were welcoming, the strengths of our neighb … [Read more...]

On Making Tents [Economics of Church and Seminary #1]

Photo Credit: David Wheeler. Used with permission

We're delighted to have a guest post today (the first in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler's article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt. *** You can find this series's introductory post by Chris Smith here... ***  On Making Tents – My story Justin Barringer They say “Don’t read the comments.” In fact, my wife especially warned me not to read the comments after the article featuring me in The Atlantic was published. She was right. But, the rebel I am decided to read them anyway. Generally the comments broke down into four ty … [Read more...]

Reimagining the Economics of Church and Seminary

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Several weeks ago, The Atlantic ran a much-discussed article on the high cost of seminary, amidst the struggling economy of churches.  The article reminded us of a question that John and I have been getting often as we are out on the road talking about Slow Church:How can our church afford to be guided by a Slow, "Small is beautiful" philosophy when the economic pressure -- either from denominations or from the personal load of debt that our pastors bear -- is driving us to take the tempting shortcuts of "fast church"?Let me begin by saying that we don't have any easy solutions to … [Read more...]

The Christology of Slow Church?

The_Crucifixion

My friend Tato Sumantri, of Church of the Servant King in Eugene, Oregon (which incidentally hosted one of the Slow Church events that John and I did in the Pacific Northwest in June) recently sent me an email with a couple of very thoughtful questions about the Slow Church book.  This is the second and final post in response to Tato:[ AND HERE is Tato's first question on Sin and Repentance ]  “What does Jesus have to do with any of this [in the Slow Church book]? What is preventing a slow church movement from being just another sociological phenomenon, like the slow food movement? We ar … [Read more...]

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...]

Slow Church, Sin and Repentance.

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My friend Tato Sumantri, of Church of the Servant King in Eugene, Oregon (which incidentally hosted one of the Slow Church events that John and I did in the Pacific Northwest last month) recently sent me an email with a couple of very thoughtful questions about the Slow Church book.  I will be answering these questions here over the next week.  Here is the first one:“[You] make scant reference to sin and repentance. On a whole, Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus reads as one option among many to live out life in Christ, but nothing is really at stake. In his Rom … [Read more...]


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