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.

ec13

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?

The-Art-of-the-Commonplace

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...]

Who Will You Grow Old With?

Panera-Bread

Editor's Note: The simplest questions are often the most profound. They are also the ones we often forget to ask. Those were just a couple of my thoughts after reading this excellent post from Scott Emery, who writes about creation, community, and commission from Phoenix, New York. This post originally appeared on Scott's blog. It seems like a great addition to the Slow Church conversation, and I'm grateful to Scott for letting us post it here. … [Read more...]

G.K. Chesterton on Santa Claus

Victorian Santa Claus

I love G.K. Chesterton's take on Santa Claus. I wrote this blog post a couple years ago about my daughter, fairy tales, and why I like Chesterton's perspective so much:Molly is three now, and her excitement over Christmas is infectious. She learned the Christmas story this year, mostly from her grandmother, who helped her make finger puppets of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, wise men, and the angel. A glittery horse and plastic monkey are the only animals in the manger. Molly is able to shoehorn Santa Claus into the incarnation somehow, but Kate and I don't go out of our way to … [Read more...]

How to Be a Poem

Today I was thinking about spiritual formation and what came to mind was a poem by Wendell Berry, the Kentucky writer, farmer, and activist. The poem is called "How To Be a Poet." But I think it could be re-titled "How To Be a Poem." Here's what I mean: the New Testament says we are "God's workmanship." The word used for "workmanship," poiema, is the same word from which we get our word "poem." Thus, it's not too much of a stretch to say that we are "God's poem." So much of what Berry describes here is good advice not just for the poet but for anyone who wants to put themselves in the loving h … [Read more...]

Trusting in a Promise-Keeping God [Living Into Community #4]

Living into Community - Christine Pohl

This is the fourth in an Advent series of eight posts that will wind their way through Christine Pohl’s new book Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans 2012 Buy now: Amazon // Kindle ).  This book was chosen as The Englewood Review’s Book of the Year for 2012, and as I hope will become abundantly clear over the Advent season, it fits very well with what John and I have been describing as Slow Church.[ Read an Excerpt of LIVING INTO COMMUNITY ]The Previous Post in the Series…In the season of Advent, we wait for the coming of Jesus, and wait as the Isra … [Read more...]


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