Indiana’s New RFRA Bill Hits Home on Indy’s Near Eastside


An article broke in the Indianapolis Star this afternoon, announcing that in response to Indiana's newly signed RFRA bill, major corporation Angie's List would be cancelling plans for an expansion to their campus on Indianapolis's Near Eastside.Key bits of the Star article: "The proposed expansion of the online consumer ratings service was touted to add 1,000 good-paying jobs over five years and help revitalize a struggling Eastside neighborhood.""Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none," [Angie's List CEO Bill] Oesterle said, "and we are hugely disappointed in what … [Read more...]

Ferguson and Our Broken Justice System

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...]

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


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...]

First Thoughts on U2′s Songs of Innocence


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.

  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 … [Read more...]

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

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...]