Ferguson and Our Broken Justice System

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I'm deeply saddened, but not really surprised by the grand jury's decision tonight in Ferguson.The fundamental disconnect is that Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch could stand there and say that there was no question that Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown (who --although this was never explicitly offered in the statement -- was UNARMED), and yet there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trial.  This is the broken system in which we live, a society so enamored with guns and violence that it is permissible to shoot and kill an unarmed person and not even face a trial … [Read more...]

Justice that Leavens the World.

Locust effect

While in the DC area this week speaking and promoting Slow Church, I had the opportunity this morning to visit a friend of mine who works at International Justice Mission (IJM).  I had the privilege of sitting in on IJM's daily prayer service today, where they shared various facets of their work and offered thanksgiving and requests in prayer.  IJM is doing powerful work around the globe, diligently working for the justice of women, fighting the sex trade, working to end the violence that lies at the root of much poverty and injustice in the world.At the same time, I am reading Scot M … [Read more...]

I stand with Mike Brown.

MBrown

On Saturday afternoon, an unarmed African-American man, Mike Brown, was shot and killed by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri. I have written here before about lament being our first response to shooting tragedies, and I grieve for the family and friends of Mike Brown.Given the facts as we currently know them: 1) Mike Brown was unarmed 2) Mike Brown was the sole target of the police action there was no reason for him to be shoot multiple times, or to be killed.  This is police brutality, plain and simple. Many of us here at Englewood have seen police brutality here in our urban … [Read more...]

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 w … [Read more...]

JPUSA: A Tragic History of Sexual Abuse

NPTCH-Header

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 wife a … [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 Liveable Church on … [Read more...]


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