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...]

A Prayer for Slow Churches from Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero

I was recently reminded of this prayer from Oscar Romero and thought that it was a lovely theological meditation on what it means to be a slow church. It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings … [Read more...]

The Slow Church Conversation.

“What is Slow Church?” This question is one that I’ve been getting quite a bit recently.  I’m always at a bit of a loss to answer, however, because so many things are swirling through my head.  Over the coming months, John Pattison and I will facilitate a conversation here that will explore what we mean by Slow Church, and what that might look like in a variety of different church contexts.  But a conversation has to begin somewhere, so let me set out a few thoughts to get us started. On the most basic level, Slow Church is a conversation between Christianity of the early twenty-first century … [Read more...]


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