Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities

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An article that I wrote for the Huffington Post went live today...This article is a followup to my blog series here last week on lamenting the Aurora shooting...Also, if these reflections on lament have resonated with you, you should check out my friend Tripp Hudgins' recent thoughts in the same direction...  Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities C. Christopher Smith, Senior Editor, The Englewood Review of Books One of the most disturbing things about the American public's reaction to the recent theater shooting in Aurora was the speed at which the … [Read more...]

Chick-fil-A: Are boycotts (and anti-boycott appreciations) faithful politics?

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Facebook is abuzz today (as it has been for over a week) with people showing their support or their distaste for Chick-Fil-A and president Dan Cathy's recent statement of opposition to gay marriage.  I'm not going to take sides here, but I do want to challenge those who identify as Christians with the question of whether boycotts are ways of engaging those with whom we disagree that fit with our call to follow in the way of Jesus?A boycott is, in essence, returning evil for evil; you have said or done something that has hurt me, so I will retaliate at your economic existence by … [Read more...]

Lament, Confession and The Politics of Jesus.

Wounds

This is the third Slow Church post in a short series about Lament and the Aurora Theater Shooting... You can read the previous posts here:  [ Part I ]  [ Part II ]"To learn to lament is to become people who stay near to the wounds of the world, singing over them and washing them, allowing the unsettling cry of pain to be heard."   -- Chris Rice / Emmanuel Katongole RECONCILING ALL THINGSContinuing our reflection on what it means to lament, I want to focus now on locating lament. Generally speaking, where and how does it happen?  I want to start with an insightful comment that my fri … [Read more...]

What Does it Mean to Lament?

Grief

This post is a follow-up to Saturday's post on Lament and the Aurora Theater shooting.Over the last couple of days, I have realized that lament is such a foreign concept for many of us as Westerners that I might have been making too big of a leap in assuming that people knew what I meant by lament.  So, I offer a few more thoughts here about what lament is and what it might mean for us to lament the recent theater shooting in Aurora.To lament is to come alongside those who grieve, to sit with them (literally or figuratively) in the silence and to recognize there that in God's … [Read more...]

Lament and the Aurora theater shooting.

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I heard about the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado as I was on my way home yesterday from a retreat with my wife.  The news left me speechless; how does one respond to senseless violence on that scale?This morning, as I continued to reflect on this tragic incident, I recalled a very helpful passage in Chris Rice and Emmanuel Katongole's recent book Reconciling All Things (Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation / IVP Resources for Reconciliation Series).  I dug up a copy of the book and mulled over the chapter on lament. I had forgotten how the authors had connected lament with s … [Read more...]

Ragan Sutterfield’s Farming as a Spiritual Discipline

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Food is central to the vision of Slow Church, in the practices of sharing food together and also caring about where our food comes from that God so graciously and abundantly provides food for us.One of the most helpful introductory books in thinking about food in the life of the church is our friend Ragan Suttterfield's book Farming As A Spiritual Discipline. This book was developed from three talks that Ragan gave here at Englewood Christian Church in 2008, at a conference that we hosted on the church and agriculture.For today (Monday July 16) and tomorrow (Tuesday July 17), this book … [Read more...]

Tina Fey… and Improv as a metaphor for the biblical drama.

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I'm working today on revising the theological overview chapter for the Slow Church book. One of the key ideas that I borrow from pastor and theologian Sam Wells is that:“Improvisation in the theatre is a practice through which actors develop trust in themselves and one another in order that they may conduct unscripted dramas without fear.”I've been encouraged recently by some early readers of this chapter to make the improv metaphor robust...This morning as I was getting ready to work on this chapter, I stumbled upon a great blog post by my friend Jen Michel, in which she reflects o … [Read more...]


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