Options for the Coming Age: Benedict, Jeremiah, Both, or Neither?

Our_Lady_of_Gethsemani

There's been a rich conversation recently that I wanted to draw your attention to because of its pertinence to Slow Church.In the face of fragmenting modern culture, Rod Dreher wrote a compelling piece almost a year ago on "The Benedict Option": Should [Christians] take what might be called the “Benedict Option”: communal withdrawal from the mainstream, for the sake of sheltering one’s faith and family from corrosive modernity and cultivating a more traditional way of life? More recently Samuel Goldman has offered a different option, that of the biblical prophet Jeremiah, which I take to … [Read more...]

Slow Church Conversation Guide – Beta Version

Conversation Guide

Though each chapter of Slow Church ends with "conversation starters," questions meant to help prompt discussion, it's always been our goal to create a more robust conversation guide. But we've been running behind schedule on it. Honestly, the last few months have been busier and "faster" than we expected, as we've been blessed to travel around the country to talk about the book in dozens of backyards, living rooms, churches, conferences, colleges and universities.But now we're hearing from many churches and study groups that are going through Slow Church together, and so the conversation gu … [Read more...]

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]

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[ 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...]


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