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Twelve Days of Spiritual Growth

Silly songs be damned, there’s a great opportunity to work on our spiritual formation during the Christmas Feast, from today through epiphany.  Chris Erdman is a pastor, oblate, and author whose “chief interest is in helping contemporary Christians and spiritual seekers to recover the relevance and simplicity of ancient Christian spiritual practices for modern life.”

He’s decided to return the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany into a spiritual journey.  He’s writing short meditations that you can find on his blog, or have emailed to you each day.  Yesterday, he previewed the series, writing,

The Twelve Days, December 25-January 5, are the true Christmas, the Christmas not of preparation for a single holiday, but of opening our hearts increasingly to the Absolute, the Ultimate, the Eternal Light of God.

And he launches the series today.

If you’re looking for a great way to recenter yourself during this holy-day season, Chris’s meditations are a great place to start.

Byassee on Kristof

From the Call & Response Blog at Duke:

I heard an old-time evangelist preach to a full house here at Duke the other night. The crowd was buying what he was selling. They laughed at the jokes, nodded at the profound points and lined up for the altar call.

The evangelist was Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. I mean him no disrespect by comparing him to an evangelist. He spoke with the boldness and conviction of Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and the apostle Paul all rolled into one. And the message he spoke was as true as anything those other men preached. The altar call was a line that stretched outside the building for his signature on the book. The sellers didn’t bring enough copies. As jaded as the Facebook generation is, they wanted to sign up for this.

via Duke Divinity Call & Response Blog | Faith & Leadership | Jason Byassee: The moral challenge of our century.

Doc Todd Asks…

Doc Todd is wondering why some disagreeable theology can be debated by Baptists, but other cannot:

The sentiment spreads across the Country as those once affiliated with the evil trio of Pagitt, Jones and McLaren drop off to form their own movements and networks – and of course because these fellows are doctrine averse, relativists, and theological adrift in a new form of liberalism. Yes, there are two death knells that keep us from conversations with those whom we might disagree with, at least in my tribe. Label them liberals of some ilk and mention the need to listen to voices other than white males and you can be sure we will dismiss them faster than Baptists can get to the table for lunch.

Returning to said conference I found it interesting we should be wary of the dangers of Emergent Village and the emerging church, at least some in the “movement”, and yet should welcome conversations between Calvinists and non-Calvinists (the large amorphous designation that it is). Curiously I asked if we could be as charitable with those in the emerging church, even Emergent Village. For, gasp, I have shared meals with Doug, Tony and Brian. There are ideas the three have had, or positions taken, I could not agree with. Sometimes I will read something in one of their books and shake my head thinking, “Not sure I can follow that line all the way down.” But when it comes to critique of the Evangelical church, one need be careful to be dismissive.

via The Edge of the Inside.