The Spoken Word vs. The Written Word

The Spoken Word

I've been writing about lectio divina this week, as part of my next book project on Reading for the Common Good.  I'm fascinated by the early monastic practice of (almost always) reading aloud, which not only was common practice in that day, but also served to engage the body as well as the mind in learning and meditating upon scripture.  As part of my research, I encountered the following passage from Eugene Peterson's Eat this Book.I had never really thought about how important the spoken word is and how the written word is a reduction of the spoken word, eliminating such important c … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Old Runner

OldRunner

There's an old runner I know who recently shared a story that I think will be helpful for churches that desire to be healthy. (Actually, it probably would be helpful for all communities: neighborhoods, other faith communities, etc., but this is the Slow CHURCH blog after all and our audience here is mostly Christian).  The Old Runner realized earlier this year that after over a decade of pretty-much-not-running, he had grown fat and out-of-shape. So, he worked hard for several months, and started running regularly, and felt himself getting back into decent shape, and worked up to … [Read more...]

Jen Pollock Michel – Teach us to Want [Patheos Book Club]

Teach-Us-to-Want-Cover1-140x210

 [ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of Teach Us to Want ]Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith Jen Pollock Michel IVP Books, 2014In her debut book, Jen Pollock Michel offers us an exquisite meditation on what it means to be human, to walk the tightrope between dismissing our desires as evil and wholly abandoning ourselves to them. Teach us to Want is a compelling mix of personal narrative and biblical reflection that ever-so-gently nudges us into deeper contemplation of our desires, the God who created us to desire and the ends towards which … [Read more...]

Celebrate Interdependence Day 2014!

Starry_Starry_Night

7 Essential Books for Understanding Interdependence as Christians  I've recently read Fred Lehr's book on Clergy Burnout.  What's striking about this book is that he describes burnout not simply as function of unhealthy clergy, but as a codependent relationship between pastor(s) and laity. Congregations that expect their pastors to over-perform are often enabled to do less work than we have been called to do as members of Christ’s Body. Lehr also suggests that the journey from unhealthy congregations to healthy ones is marked by a shift in the clergy/laity relationship from co … [Read more...]

Christian Witness: Reconciling contemplation and action.

AM-AV

There's a group of us at Englewood that have been working our way through Alasdair MacIntrye's important book After Virtue.  Although I first read the book over a decade ago, it has been good to have the opportunity to return to it again, and to realize the ways that Slow Church was profoundly shaped by it.For instance we recently read this passage from the end of Chapter 5: Abstract changes in moral concepts are always embodied in real, particular events.  ... There ought not to be two histories, one of political and moral action and one of political and moral theorizing, because there w … [Read more...]

In Sickness and in Health – Guest Post by Justin McRoberts

McBob

One of the wonderful things that happened at The Festival of Faith and Writing last month was that I had the opportunity to meet singer/songwriter Justin McRoberts.  We had some good conversations, and he was very interested in Slow Church. Justin recently wrote a wonderful book entitled CMYK: The Process of Life Together -- which I read in one sitting this past weekend! -- and which I hope to review very soon for The Englewood Review of Books. He recently sent me an excerpt from this book that is very pertinent to Slow Church, and I am delighted to share it with you here.Be sure to check … [Read more...]

The Big Table – Living in the Diversity of God’s People

BigTable

One of the things that pains me most is the acerbity with which Christians of diverse perspectives treat one another: the mocking, the name-calling, the refusal to talk civilly or to work together.  Since early on in the development of this Slow Church project, I have had an intuition that the act of slowing down and being attentive to those around us might be important baby steps in the direction of narrowing the deep chasms that divide the Body of Christ today.  One of the most exciting things about the recent Slow Church conference was the vast theological diversity of the participants: f … [Read more...]


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