I Sure Hope the Bible Isn’t this Creepy

So, it seems that this image is making its way around the evangelicalfacebookosphere. Maybe it’s just me, but it really creeps me out. If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.

It also leads me to ask, What if the person getting the creepy hug were a man?


Jason Clark Reviews The Church Is Flat


Church and Pomo — now hosted at The Other Journal — today started a two-week conversation about my book, The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement. Today, Jason Clark reviews the book, and my response will post on Thursday. Likewise next week.

Here’s Jason:

As someone very involved within the E/C over the past 12 years, I recognized myself and  many of my friends within Tony’s accounts.  The practices as mapped out, do to a practitioner and church planter provide a thick and textured map that I can resonate with.  Indeed the high point of Tony’s work is his phenomenology, and ethnographic framed with the work of Bourdieu.  The result is that Tony’s work is no theoretical reflection on practice, avoiding some notion of the disinterested researcher who thinks practice flows from thinking.  Instead Tony is self consciously a practitioner embedded in the very practices and communities that he reflecting on.  If we are every to really understand what is going on in E/C communities we are going to need more studies like Tony’s.

Tony’s work does reveal the ‘logic of practice’ for much of the E/C, and with some needed nuance as to the predispositions, appetites and proclivities that provide the habitus of those communities.  As I read Tony the representation of the social bodies, enacted by the practices he delineates are almost palpable.  It allows us to touch, smell, see and hear the social realities of much of the E/C.  The habitus that Tony describes shows us where the E/C has through practices found it’s incorporation and social performatives around it’s embodied traditions.

Read the rest, and see where he disagrees with me: A sociality in search of an ecclesiology?: Jason Clark reviews Tony Jones’s ‘The Earth is Flat’. : the church and postmodern culture.

Prepare to Have Your Heart Broken in 3 Minutes

Driving home from the cabin yesterday, Courtney and I had the pleasure to hear the latest winner on NPR Weekend’s 3-Minute Fiction contest, “Rainy Wedding.” It’s a heart-rending story of grief deferred, read beautifully by Susan Stamberg.

Listen to it here.

When Should a Church Schism?

I took a lot of heat from my Methodist friends last week for suggesting that young clergy forsake the denomination and go do something new. Let me be clear: I don’t expect one single Methodist clergyperson or seminarian to jump ship because I blogged about it. Puhleeze, people.

I will reiterate something: It is virtually impossible to see the dysfunction of a system when you’re inside it. Ask anyone who’s married to an alcoholic; ask a prison guard; ask Michel Foucault. Sometimes Often it takes an outsider to speak truth into a system. Also, dear Methodists, to appease your anger, here’s a picture of me washing Methodist feet:

That being said the Presbyterians are facing challenges of their own. The closest church to my house is Christ Presbyterian, a large PC(USA) congregation, the pastor of which has been at the forefront of the Fellowship of Presbyterians, a group of primarily large, conservative, white, suburban churches. The Fellowship is launching a new denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Order.

Our weekly suburban paper, the Edina Sun, covered the first meeting about the potential switch at Christ Presbyterian:

[Read more...]


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