Scot McKnight on the centrality of the local church.

Scot McKnight

Our fellow Patheos blogger has been stirring up some intense conversation with his recent post "Kingdom Work, Social Justice" (Be sure to read the comments).  Here's the heart of the post: I’m all for “social” justice. I’m fighting the trend I see today of equating “kingdom work” with public sector social justice work. As if “kingdom” is something done outside the church. As I read the Gospels, Jesus’ uses “kingdom” for himself/God as King, for his followers who enter into his kingdom vision, and for the ecclesial/social conditions created by those who follow Jesus and his kingdom vision. … [Read more...]

“God Does Not Hurry”

"All revolutionaries have one basic problem: they are all short of time" - Gerhard Lohfink, Does God Need the Church? One of the most basic theological convictions in our understanding of Slow Church is the slowness of God.  Kelly Johnson does a wonderful job of explaining this slowness in her essay "God Does Not Hurry" from the recent book God Does Not...: Entertain, Play "Matchmaker," Hurry, Demand Blood, Cure Every Illness (Baker Books, 2009, Brent Laytham, Editor).Read a good chunk of this essay, courtesy of Google Books: … [Read more...]

Keep in Touch

A bit of housekeeping:Both in the book and on the blog, Chris and I want to do more than write about "Slow Church" as an abstract ideal. Slow Church is rooted in the human, natural, and spiritual cultures of particular places and particular people in a particular time. Chris and I want to lay out the key concepts of Slow Church, while also telling the stories of faith communities around the country (heck, around the world) who are actually doing these things. Thus, we are coming to you, dear reader, and asking you to contact us to tell us how faith communities in your neighborhoods are … [Read more...]

Becoming Good Soil

Good Soil

For the last few weeks in our Sunday night conversation here at Englewood Christian Church, we have been exploring the imagery of sustainable agriculture to describe life together in the local church community.  This stream of our conversation began with the idea that churches work better as diverse poly-cultures (diverse types of people, doing diverse sorts of work), rather than mono-cultures (focusing on a narrow demographic of people –age-wise, ethnically or otherwise, or doing a single kind of work).  Last night’s conversation began with a familiar quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Toge … [Read more...]

Churches catalyzing local culture.

For several years now, I have been describing the work of local church communities in their particular places as catalyzing local culture.  However, I could only provide some barebones images and stories of what that might look like.This week, however, I discovered the new book Making Healthy Places from Island Press and edited by Andrew Danneberg, Howard Frumkin and Richard Jackson.  The authors whose work is offered in this volume call us to a vision of healthy community not unlike what the Old Testament prophets called shalom.  They likewise are deeply aware of the complexities -- le … [Read more...]

God’s Patience, The City and THE WIRE.

The Wire

In my initial post on this blog, I noted that our vision of Slow Church was rooted in the slowness of God's work in the world.  One facet of that slowness, as I described in that post is God's choice to redeem the world by gathering a people.  Another facet is God's patience with the depths and complexities of human rebellion.  From Cain's founding of the first city (Gen. 4: 9-17) onward, the city has been an image of brokenness, human rebellion against God.  Jacques Ellul, in The Meaning of the City (a superb work for beginning to reflect on urban theology), observes: [The builders of Babel] … [Read more...]

Mr. Rogers and the Formative Power of Dinner Table Conversation.

In one of his last books, Fred Rogers – a Presbyterian minister otherwise known as PBS’s Mr. Rogers – made the poignant observation that:“At the dinner table children learn the art of making conversation – how to take turns listening and talking and how to put their ideas into words.  Even their vocabulary increases as they learn new words and new ideas from others in the family.” [ Read this quote in its context on Google Books ][ from The Mr. Rogers Parenting Book, 19 ]As Mr. Rogers alludes here, dinner table conversation is a formative practice, … [Read more...]


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