Christian Witness: Reconciling contemplation and action.

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There's a group of us at Englewood that have been working our way through Alasdair MacIntrye's important book After Virtue.  Although I first read the book over a decade ago, it has been good to have the opportunity to return to it again, and to realize the ways that Slow Church was profoundly shaped by it. For instance we recently read this passage from the end of Chapter 5: Abstract changes in moral concepts are always embodied in real, particular events.  ... There ought not to be two histories, one of political and moral action and one of political and moral theorizing, because there … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Slow Church: Embodying Justice, Peace and Love [Video]

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to do a brief talk (between broadcast sessions) at The Justice Conference Indianapolis. I gave a short description of Slow Church that focused on our call to embody justice, peace and love in our local congregations. I also read part of one of my favorite poems by Wendell Berry and highlighted four themes in it that are essential to Slow Church: 1) Stability / Rootedness 2) Listening to our neighbors and the land in our place 3) Imagining flourishing futures for church and neighborhood 4) Working  with and for others, so that they can do these same … [Read more...]

Slow and Local are Where We Must Begin.

Englewood-Garden

A Response to Jamie Smith...   I have a deep appreciation for Jamie Smith’s work.  His latest book, Imagining The Kingdom, will most likely be one of The Englewood Review of Books’ (of which I am the editor) best books of the year for 2013, and his Desiring the Kingdom was one named one of our best books of 2009.  And yet I can’t help feeling like the brilliant young philosophy professor has created a straw man in his latest blog post for Cardus: Knitting While Detroit Burns.   This post is a response to Brandon Rhodes’s recent profile of Tacoma, WA’s Zoe … [Read more...]

The World is Not Ours to Save…Whew! [Patheos Book Club]

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I was asked to write a reflection on Tyler Wigg-Stevenson's new book The World is Not Ours to Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good (IVP 2013) for the Patheos Book Club.  But for those who have been following the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" Series, this post is also relevant to that conversation. I recently had the chance to interview Wigg-Stevenson for the current issue of The Englewood Review of Books, so I will borrow a couple of snippets from that interview as I reflect on the book. Cause fatigue is a significant problem among activists in the twenty-first century.   … [Read more...]

Be Strong in the Lord’s Power

PowersWeakness

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: “God Tabernacling in Our Weakness"  Continuing the theme of our last post in this series (linked above), Marva Dawn in her important book Powers, Weakness and the Tabernacling of God, begins her exploration of the Ephesians 6 text by noting that because God tabernacles in our weakness, we can be strong in the Lord's power.  The we here is important, Dawn emphasizes, for it is the the whole Body of Christ -- and not … [Read more...]

God Tabernacling in our Weakness

PowersWeakness

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 … [Read more...]


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