The Hopeful Politics of “Everyday Attentive Reciprocity”

In the wake of the recent US presidential election, I've been drawn into a few efforts to re-imagine what faithful Christian politics might look like. These efforts have compelled me to start re-reading Stanley Hauerwas and Romand Coles important book: Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (Cascade Books, 2008 -- This book was featured recently on a list of recommended books on cultivating Christian faithfulness in the Trump age that I compiled for The Englewood Review of Books.)In the book's introduction, I encountered … [Read more...]

A Politics of Hope in the Trump Age

Over the last week, I've been reflecting on how we can find hope in these anxious times. (Anxiety, of course, not only fueled Trump's rise to become the president-elect, but also the resistance to his platform in the wake of the election). I wrote a new piece for Relevant that is woefully brief, but that I hope will emphasize that our hope of a different -- and better -- sort of politics begins in our local churches. Make an ongoing commitment to know those in your church who differ from you. Step out of your comfort zone; join a Sunday school class, small group or church committee in which … [Read more...]

A School for Kindness?

 One of the most interesting new books released this week is Congratulations, By The Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders. This hardback volume contains the graduation speech that Saunders gave at Syracuse University in 2013.  Although you can read the full text of the speech online, this lovely hardback would make a wonderful gift for all your friends and family who are graduating this spring!   [Also, watch a lovely video excerpt of the talk here ]I was especially captivated by this passage: Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably s … [Read more...]

The Big Table – Living in the Diversity of God’s People

One of the things that pains me most is the acerbity with which Christians of diverse perspectives treat one another: the mocking, the name-calling, the refusal to talk civilly or to work together.  Since early on in the development of this Slow Church project, I have had an intuition that the act of slowing down and being attentive to those around us might be important baby steps in the direction of narrowing the deep chasms that divide the Body of Christ today.  One of the most exciting things about the recent Slow Church conference was the vast theological diversity of the participants: f … [Read more...]

A Dark Side to Slow Church?

 I have been reading a bunch of articles today on the legacy of John Howard Yoder (what his well-documented incidents of sexual harassment mean for how we interpret his theology).  Lots of good important questions being asked, and many of them related to Slow Church.  For those interested, I started here and was eventually led to this superb two-part article. The most challenging question is: Does the slowness of Slow Church just serve to prop up existing power structures, such as patriarchy, whiteness and heterosexuality?  Is this a dark side to Slow Church? Pa … [Read more...]

Is It Time for Post-Partisan Politics?

Is It Time for Post-Partisan Politics? A new AP poll shows that Congress is at its lowest approval rating ever with only 5% of Americans approving of them.   Over the last several years, Congress has shown again and again that they are utterly incapable of dealing with the deepest crises that are presently facing the American people. They repeatedly struggle merely to kick the economic can down the road, much less addressing the underlying economic issues that we are facing, and the U.S. continues to teeter on the brink of economic default. Both parties are pawns of lobbyists with deep … [Read more...]

Howard Thurman: Slow Church and Social Liberation

 This comes from an interview with Dr. Walter Fluker, director and editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project at Morehouse College, that ran on the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly website. [ Read the full interview... ]This passage also echoes a point that Andy Crouch made about the Civil Rights movement in my interview with him about his forthcoming book: PLAYING GOD: Redeeming the Gift of Power.(HT: Ric Hudgens for pointing me to this... ) Q: Why do you think [Howard Thurman] has been so overlooked or bypassed by many in our society? WF: Our society is fast-paced. Thurman … [Read more...]