First Thoughts on U2′s Songs of Innocence

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My friend Greg Blosser, the consummate U2 fan, just posted on Facebook his initial thoughts about the new album Songs of Innocence,which dropped by surprise today, (available for FREE on iTunes!)  and he gave me permission to re-post the thoughts here...        U2's new album: Immediate ThoughtsSeptember 9, 2014 at 8:17pmSongs of Innocence was released about six hours ago.  I haven't listened enough to give my full assessment of the record and its place in the hierarchy of U2's body of work, but here are some immediate reflections. 1. No L … [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...]

I stand with Mike Brown.

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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...]

There’s Always an Ark! [Thoughts on the NOAH film]

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Last night, I finally got around to seeing the Noah movie.  Darren Aronofsky is probably my favorite movie director (I even wrote about his movie PI in the Slow Church book), and NOAH was one of my most anticipated films of 2014.  And, it did not disappoint.  NOAH is a story in the tradition of the biblical prophets, with striking relevance for our own times.*** WARNING: There may be some tiny spoilers here, if you haven't seen the film (Although I don't think reading these spoilers now would ruin the experience of seeing the film).Last week, I read an article in the New York Times ab … [Read more...]

Not Just for the Young and Hip…

Slow Church

We were thrilled with the RNS article on Slow Church that ran in The Washington Post (and at least a dozen other news outlets) over the weekend.  Great as the article was, there was one perplexing section, the interview with sociologist of religion Scott Thumma, who opined that Slow Church would appeal primarily to the young and hip demographic.  Our friend Brent Bill, who by his own admission, is neither young nor hip, has penned a response, which we are honored to share here... "We believe Slow Food and the other Slow movements hold important lessons for the American churches. They c … [Read more...]

“A Great Day For the Children of Indiana”

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We were honored to host a momentous occasion here at Englewood Christian Church today. Because of Daystar Childcare, our widely-recognized daycare, we were selected as the site where Gov. Mike Pence would sign into law, a new bill that provides state funding for Pre-Kindergarten.  As noted by Nicole Baker-Fulgham in her talk at the 2014 Justice Conference last month, Indiana was one of the last remaining states that did not provide any state funding for Pre-K. We were delighted to be the place where the journey began toward better care for the children of Indiana, and especially children of … [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 wife a … [Read more...]


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