Lent: 40 Days of the Sermon on the Mount

John had the great idea recently to read the Sermon on the Mount every day for Lent… Here’s his thoughts: Gandhi read the Sermon on the Mount every day for decades. He said that when he first read it, it went straight to his heart. He believed it encapsulated the message of Jesus and he was inspired by its message of nonviolence. It endeared Jesus to him, and he once said, “Christ’s Sermon on the Mount fills me with bliss… Read more

The Gospel of the Coffee Bean

[ I’m taking a break today from the “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice” series, which should return in the next couple of days] There’s a chapter in the forthcoming book that John and I are calling “Taste and See that the Lord is Good.”  Here’s a snapshot of the basic theme of the chapter: God created us to flourish and to know the joy of life.  Just as something is lost in the taste and experience of a… Read more

Engaged with our Neighbors’ Struggles Against Injustice

This is the fourth post in an ongoing series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice“ (Link goes to the initial post in the series). In yesterday’s post, I began an argument for beginning to seek justice by being committed to a local church community.  Today, I want to continue that argument by exploring the role of place as we seek justice. Our local church congregations are essential for us in seeking justice, because they are rooted in a… Read more

Learning how to live justly (and how to seek justice)

This is the third post in an ongoing series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice“ (Link goes to the initial post in the series). Yesterday, in unpacking Walter Brueggemann’s definition of justice, I emphasized his point that essential to the process of doing justice is being part of a covenanted community that is seeking to live justly together.  Today, I want to dig a little bit deeper into why I believe that the local faith community is essential… Read more

What is Justice?

This is the second post in an ongoing series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice” (Link goes to the initial post in the series). To begin our exploration of the relationship between Slow Church and justice, we need a solid definition of justice. I have the opportunity during Lent this year to speak at Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Cincinnati as part of their lecture series on the theme of Sabbath (details on this event are… Read more

Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice

Over the coming weeks, I’d like to wrestle here with a series of questions related to how the vision of Slow Church that John and I have been proposing here relates to justice.  The basic question is: What does Slow Church do with the (very real) pain of the oppressed? Which opens up a host of other questions, including: – Is Slow Church only for those privileged enough to live slowly? – Does the inherent slowness of Slow Church only… Read more

Reading and Discussing Books in our Churches

John’s church (Evangelical Quaker) and mine (Independent Christian Church) are very different, but one thing we share in common is the practice of reading and discussing books together.  One way that this practice takes shape in John’s church is a monthly book club that is presently reading and discussing books that were featured in John’s book (co-written with Jordan Green and Dan Gibson) Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture. Here at Englewood, we… Read more

Favor: Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

My ebook Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities: 50 Ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age is FREE for Kindle this weekend (through 11:59PM PT on Sunday). First of all, download a copy if you don’t have one already:  http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeper Growing Deeper (written in early 2010), was one of my first attempts to explore the practices that contribute to a deeper and richer life together in our church communities, and in that way contains some of the seeds of Slow… Read more

Cornel West on Obama and the Domestication of MLK’s legacy.

Please, PLEASE take five minutes on this Inauguration Day and watch the following video… Cornel West is spot on that Obama has done precious little to address the three main concerns that animated MLK: racism (in 2013, the “prison-industrial complex’), militarism and poverty. And while you’re at it, think about the question of where the real power for transformation lies? I would suggest, as Cornel West does here that it is not in the Oval Office, or government in general,… Read more

IHOP and the fueling of Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda

I was intrigued when I saw the announcement today that the documentary God Loves Uganda would be featured at the Sundance Film Festival.  I have been deeply saddened by the violence surrounding issued of sexuality in Uganda, and was startled to hear Roger Ross Williams, the director of this new documentary, reveal that his research into the forces energizing this violence can be tracked back to American evangelicals.  Watch this short clip of Williams introducing the film… Ever curious, I… Read more

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