Meredith Gould’s THE SOCIAL MEDIA GOSPEL [Patheos Book Club]

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of The Social Media Gospel ] Slow Church and a number of related projects of mine in recent years have focused on the central themes of connection, community and conversation.  Given that all three of these themes converge online in social media, I am always eager to see what others are saying about churches and their use of social media.  Meredith Gould's book The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways is the latest in a loose series of recent books that explain social media to churches, and help them reflect … [Read more...]

A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials from our Churches

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Rachel Held Evans has written a wonderful piece for the CNN Belief blog on why Millennials are leaving our churches.It has been in heavy rotation on the social media circuits the last couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it yet, do stop and read it now.From my experience talking to millennials in churches and colleges, I think Rachel has hit the nail on the head.  However, I am a few years older than Rachel (squarely in the middle of Generation X), and I remember very similar pieces being written about why Gen-Xers were leaving churches in the early to mid-1990s. So, maybe … [Read more...]

Uniting Ecology and Economy – A Response to Wendell Berry

In this month's issue of The Progressive magazine, there is a wonderful article by Wendell Berry, entitled "The Commerce of Violence" (which can be read online here...), which begins: On the day of the bombing in Boston, The New York Times printed an op-ed piece by a human being who has been imprisoned at Guantánamo for more than eleven years, uncharged and, of course, untried. The occurrence of these two events on the same day was a coincidence, but that does not mean that they are unrelated.What connects them is our devaluation, and when convenient our disvaluation, of human life as … [Read more...]

The Virtue of Dialogue – Workshop Slides

Today I led a workshop for The Center for Congregations on the practice of conversation, based on Englewood's experience with conversation, and my book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press 2012).  The slides from that presentation are included below....I did make a rough audio recording of the workshop, so if that turns out to be listenable, I might also share it here.I've given a similar presentation to a number of churches and groups of churches. Contact me if your church would be interested in hosting such a conversation...  Download the Slides Here … [Read more...]

The Cross and the AK-47?

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Debates about gun control are raging in the wake of yet another mass shooting.  The issues surrounding these recent shootings are complex, mental illness, a culture shaped by recreational violence and yes, of  course, access to guns. I don't really want to debate gun control right now; in fact, I'm not opposed to all guns.  What I am opposed to, however, is the fear that drives people to own (and defend the ownership of) guns that are intended for nothing other than the taking of human life.  And this fear is a theological issue that must be addressed among Christians... I'm laying down a cha … [Read more...]

What is Sustainability?

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Tomorrow I have the opportunity to go an hour or so up the road from here to talk with some students at my alma mater, Taylor University.The primary question that we will tackle will be what is sustainability?  And how do we pursue it?I'm sure we'll have some good conversation along the way.  I will argue that our best hope of a sustainable way of life is in the revival of parish life, (a term I'm borrowing from the good folks at the Parish Collective), by which I mean a rich and distinctive local culture that is catalyzed (but not controlled) by the churches in a particular place. … [Read more...]

Conversation, Identity and Christian Unity.

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I have been keenly following Timothy Dalrymple's posts this week about partisan scorn and his critical response to Rachel Held Evans' well-traveled post “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation”...  Although I'm a bit skeptical of Dalrymple's choice of Evans as an example of  "selling scorn," I'm not really going to comment on their back and forth, as I don't have a stake in either side of that conversation.What was of interest to me, in light of my concern for our churches as hubs of conversation were these excellent three points that Dalrymple offered at the end of his most recent … [Read more...]


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