Reading and Discussing Books in our Churches

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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 have a variety of settings in which books are read and discussed from classes during the Sunday … [Read more...]

Favor: Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

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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/GrowingDeeperGrowing 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 Church.  Until the Slow Church book is released later this year (Lord willing!), there are two little books that t … [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, but in the people of God, and prophets like MLK, who can whet our appetite's for the coming Kingdom of God... … [Read more...]

IHOP and the fueling of Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda

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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 was eager to know who what part(s) of American evangelicalism were being identified as fomenting t … [Read more...]

Prayer and the Contingencies of Life.

This post is (sort of) a follow-up to my recent post Becoming the Exploited Ones?A life of ceaseless prayer is key to moving in the direction that I described in the post mentioned above...But what does it mean to pray without ceasing?I have long thought that the spirit of prayer is "not my will but thine be done," as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. But recently, I've been reflecting on what Jesus's prayer might mean.Life is full of contingencies, of things that could possibly go wrong.  The nature of modern Western cukture is to eliminate as many of the contingencies … [Read more...]

A Question for Phyllis Tickle.

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I have been at the Emergence Christianity gathering in Memphis for the last day and a half.  The focus of this conference is celebrating the life and work of Phyllis Tickle.  It's been delightful to hear Phyllis speak, after praying the Divine Hours for over a decade and reading many of her other books.Phyllis gave two lengthy talks -- both astoundingly without any notes at all! -- that gave shape to a historical narrative for emergence Christianity.  The basic thrust of this history was that there have been major cultural upheavals every 500 years, which coincided with major transitions in … [Read more...]

Becoming the Exploited Ones?

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I re-encountered these passages from Wendell Berry's book THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE this weekend.(Caveat: Berry uses the terms "redskin" and the n-word, in ways that explore the demeaning tone that these words carried -- and still carry.  Berry's economic point is clear, but I am conflicted about his use of these loaded terms)Read from "But we know..." on page 36 to "the industrial systems of Europe" page 37:Start after the asterisks on page 42 through the end of the chapter: Berry's point is clear -- and one that John and I make in the SLOW CHURCH book -- modern W … [Read more...]


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