Rooted in God’s Abundant Provision [Gratitude Series - #1]

510px-Cornucopia

This week I am going to be doing a daily series on gratitude, since this virtue plays a vital role in our understanding of Slow Church, and since of course, our readers in the U.S. will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday later this week...When reflecting on gratitude, it is helpful for us to begin by considering its roots in God's abundant provision for creation.All major economic systems -- and especially capitalism -- are built upon the assumption of scarcity of resources, an assumption that when scrutinized in the light of the scriptural narrative is simply false. Walter Brueggemann … [Read more...]

Alan Roxburgh – Call to the Parish [Video]

Here's a video clip of Alan Roxburgh talking about "The Call to the Parish" at The Inhabit Conference last month...John and I both have been challenged by Roxburgh's work, and especially his recent book, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood (Baker, 2011 -- Read my review of this book on The Englewood Review of Books website). … [Read more...]

More on the Drama of Scripture…

Thanks to everyone who added their thoughts to my post on Wednesday.  They have been immensely helpful in thinking about the drama of creation.  A particular thanks to Wes Vander Lugt, who pointed me to the following two books, which I have been devouring over the last couple of days, and finding very helpful.  I'm posting excerpts here, so that you might enjoy them as well...Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics. Sam Wells. Brazos Press, 2004.*** CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from this book on Google BooksThe Drama of Doctrine. Kevin Vanhoozer. WJK Books, 2005. … [Read more...]

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...]

God’s Patience, The City and THE WIRE.

The Wire

In my initial post on this blog, I noted that our vision of Slow Church was rooted in the slowness of God's work in the world.  One facet of that slowness, as I described in that post is God's choice to redeem the world by gathering a people.  Another facet is God's patience with the depths and complexities of human rebellion.  From Cain's founding of the first city (Gen. 4: 9-17) onward, the city has been an image of brokenness, human rebellion against God.  Jacques Ellul, in The Meaning of the City (a superb work for beginning to reflect on urban theology), observes: [The builders of Babel] … [Read more...]


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