Scot McKnight on the centrality of the local church.

Scot McKnight

Our fellow Patheos blogger has been stirring up some intense conversation with his recent post "Kingdom Work, Social Justice" (Be sure to read the comments).  Here's the heart of the post: I’m all for “social” justice. I’m fighting the trend I see today of equating “kingdom work” with public sector social justice work. As if “kingdom” is something done outside the church. As I read the Gospels, Jesus’ uses “kingdom” for himself/God as King, for his followers who enter into his kingdom vision, and for the ecclesial/social conditions created by those who follow Jesus and his kingdom vision. … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Stanley Hauerwas: The local church as alternative to a culture of violence

I recently finished reviewing Stanley Hauerwas's newest book War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity for Sojourners magazine.  I won't rehash my whole review here, as it will be available in due time, but I will say that the most striking thing about the book was his turn toward the local church congregation in the third and final part, a direction in which his work has made gestures in the past, but has never gone as far as he does here.The finest essay in the collection, is entitled "A Particular Place," and while I was writing my review … [Read more...]

“God Does Not Hurry”

"All revolutionaries have one basic problem: they are all short of time" - Gerhard Lohfink, Does God Need the Church? One of the most basic theological convictions in our understanding of Slow Church is the slowness of God.  Kelly Johnson does a wonderful job of explaining this slowness in her essay "God Does Not Hurry" from the recent book God Does Not...: Entertain, Play "Matchmaker," Hurry, Demand Blood, Cure Every Illness (Baker Books, 2009, Brent Laytham, Editor).Read a good chunk of this essay, courtesy of Google Books: … [Read more...]

Keep in Touch

A bit of housekeeping:Both in the book and on the blog, Chris and I want to do more than write about "Slow Church" as an abstract ideal. Slow Church is rooted in the human, natural, and spiritual cultures of particular places and particular people in a particular time. Chris and I want to lay out the key concepts of Slow Church, while also telling the stories of faith communities around the country (heck, around the world) who are actually doing these things. Thus, we are coming to you, dear reader, and asking you to contact us to tell us how faith communities in your neighborhoods are … [Read more...]

CCDA Recap. (Or, May our means fit our ends).

CCDA

I spent the bulk of last week at the Christian Community Development Association’s annual conference, which was held here in Indianapolis this year.  The CCDA conference is always a great opportunity to see old friends from around the country who are engaged in good, reconciling work in their places, and I was excited to be a part of the host team for this year’s gathering. For the vast majority of the week, I was hunkered down in the CCDA bookstore, which The Englewood Review of Books ran again this year, but thanks to my brothers and sisters of Englewood Christian Church who helped in runn … [Read more...]

Gather ‘Round

Here is an event you should know about. The folks over at CONSPIRE Magazine are celebrating the release of their "Food, Feast, and Table" issue by inviting people to participate in "Gather 'Round" events throughout the month of November. These are nights of "food and celebration and drawing together." CONSPIRE is at its best when we come face to face. Breathing together in real and tangible ways is at the core of who we are. This special night embraces the sacredness and joy of the dinner table, and invites others into our homes and places of gathering to plot goodness. It’s a gathering to r … [Read more...]

Becoming Good Soil

Good Soil

For the last few weeks in our Sunday night conversation here at Englewood Christian Church, we have been exploring the imagery of sustainable agriculture to describe life together in the local church community.  This stream of our conversation began with the idea that churches work better as diverse poly-cultures (diverse types of people, doing diverse sorts of work), rather than mono-cultures (focusing on a narrow demographic of people –age-wise, ethnically or otherwise, or doing a single kind of work).  Last night’s conversation began with a familiar quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Toge … [Read more...]


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