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...]

Slow and Local are Where We Must Begin.

A Response to Jamie Smith...  I have a deep appreciation for Jamie Smith’s work.  His latest book, Imagining The Kingdom, will most likely be one of The Englewood Review of Books’ (of which I am the editor) best books of the year for 2013, and his Desiring the Kingdom was one named one of our best books of 2009.  And yet I can’t help feeling like the brilliant young philosophy professor has created a straw man in his latest blog post for Cardus: Knitting While Detroit Burns. This post is a response to Brandon Rhodes’s recent profile of Tacoma, WA’s Zoe Liveable Church on … [Read more...]

Design Thinking and Neighborhood Renewal

Lately I’ve been reading about “design thinking,” and I’m starting to see its potential as a tool for community renewal.Design thinking is a structured approach many designers use to generate and develop ideas, products, and innovations. It’s most often associated with IDEO, the well-known design firm that created the first Apple mouse, and Stanford’s Institute of Design (a.k.a. “d.school”). But what began as a process to guide the development of new consumer products is now being applied, often by non-designers, to business (including Apple, Target, and Proctor & Gamble, as well as soc … [Read more...]

Pope Francis issues a call for Slow Church!

In a speech last week to the Bishops of Brazil, Pope Francis spoke eloquently about the timely need for Slow Church...Here's a compelling excerpt from the speech:[ HT to Tim Ross for pointing my attention to this speech... ] "We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and … [Read more...]

Meredith Gould’s THE SOCIAL MEDIA GOSPEL [Patheos Book Club]

[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of The Social Media Gospel ] Slow Church and a number of related projects of mine in recent years have focused on the central themes of connection, community and conversation.  Given that all three of these themes converge online in social media, I am always eager to see what others are saying about churches and their use of social media.  Meredith Gould's book The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways is the latest in a loose series of recent books that explain social media to churches, and help them reflect … [Read more...]

A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials from our Churches

Rachel Held Evans has written a wonderful piece for the CNN Belief blog on why Millennials are leaving our churches.It has been in heavy rotation on the social media circuits the last couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it yet, do stop and read it now.From my experience talking to millennials in churches and colleges, I think Rachel has hit the nail on the head.  However, I am a few years older than Rachel (squarely in the middle of Generation X), and I remember very similar pieces being written about why Gen-Xers were leaving churches in the early to mid-1990s. So, maybe … [Read more...]

Work, Generosity and the Schooling of Desire

Mike Bowling, pastor here at Englewood Christian Church, has been preaching through the 10 commandments this year, spending 3 weeks on each commandment, one looking at the Old Testament context, one looking at what Jesus said, and one looking at that commandment in the New Testament and beyond...This past Sunday was the third week of the series on "You shall not steal," and the text was Eph. 4:28: He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. There are a bunch of … [Read more...]