Archives for 2014

Disarming Scripture: Cold Water to the Face of Our Biblical Rationalizing

The bottom line is that our interpretation of Scripture needs to coincide with actual reality. - Derek Flood I've recently been digging into Derek Flood's new book Disarming Scripture, and it is a desperately needed word in the raging public dialogue around Christianity and violence.Really, it's a splash of cold water to the face of our biblical rationalizing when it comes to violent and disturbing passages.The quote above appears in Chapter 6, and this chapter is perhaps the lynchpin … [Read more...]

The Death of Christian Idealism: a Reflection on Preston Yancey

Preston Yancey is young.Well, relative to me anyway.I'm pretty sure he's ten years my junior which both solidifies the already pretty solid fact that I am cresting the fearsome peak of mid-life (and making damn good time), and confirms my suspicion that "millennials," however one establishes the birthdate range, are truly a generation behind those of us who took a few breaths in the 70's. Which means they are far from peaking: they are a generation on the rise.Preston's first book is … [Read more...]

Skinny Jeans, Ruffled Feathers, and Kingdom Mission: My Interview with Scot McKnight

One of my theological heroes is Scot McKnight. He recently released a new book called Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church. And it is a all the right ways! (Check out the book website here.)Here's my interview with Scot: Z: Hi Scot, thanks so much for joining us over here! I love your new book and think it's a really timely addition to the conversation. But enough with my opinion - what prompted you to write it? Scot: I have been thinking a … [Read more...]

Learning to Make Disciples…AA Style [Fr. Tony Bleything]

My name is Fr. Tony Bleything, I'm an Alcoholic and a Drug Addict. Okay, so I don't say Fr. Tony Bleything at the 3 to 4 AA meetings I go to per week, but I do identify each time as an alcoholic and an addict.  I'm sure I sound like a broken record at our church but I truly believe that if the church took note of the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, they would surely learn a great deal about making disciples.For the past few months I have been reflecting on what I can learn about discipleship fr … [Read more...]

Choosing My Religion? [Anderson Campbell]

I think I might be failing as a good, Christian father.I’ve identified as a Christian for nearly as long as I can remember. I grew up in Georgia, “Bible belt” territory.  Our household rhythms revolved around faith in God. We prayed at mealtimes and before bed. We were heavily involved in our Southern Baptist church, in which my father served as a deacon. We attended every Sunday, sometimes twice, and every Wednesday evening.When I was seven years old, I declared to my mother that I wante … [Read more...]

God of Noise, God Who Moves: Finding God in Ministry Transition [David Kludt]

My neighborhood in Hollywood was one of the noisiest places I've ever been.Our little house was situated halfway between Hollywood and Sunset - two of the major thoroughfares providing the constant rush of traffic across Northeast Los Angeles. Directly across the street from us was a hospital parking garage with two sets of heavy traffic spikes. At shift change, a rapid series of metallic clunks peppered into our windows as cars pulled out of the garage. Three hospitals within four blocks … [Read more...]

On Focus and Freedom: A Traditional Church Embarks on the Missional Journey [KrisAnne Swartley]

The story of how I came to do what I currently do, where I do it, still fascinates me. I love it when people ask, how did you end up at Doylestown Mennonite Church and what is your role there? What does it mean to be "pastor for the missional journey" or "missional pastor?" I love telling the story because I have never encountered a congregation who has done what this one has, and I'm about as immersed in the Mennonite church as one can get-- a Mennonite pastor's kid who went to Mennonite … [Read more...]

A God in the Dirt [Andrew Arndt]

The following is a guest post by Andrew Arndt for The Antioch Session. One of the first places we meet the God revealed in Scripture is in a garden. The writer of Genesis records, in an anthropomorphism sure to awaken scorn from the philosopher or religious historian,“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen 3:8).God, the Cosmos-Shaper, the High and Holy and All-Powerful Creator of Heaven and Earth, is also G … [Read more...]

Of Monsters and Mars: How Brian Zahnd is Saving Evangelical Faith (A Review)

It would be a mistake to call Brian Zahnd's new book, A Farewell to Mars, "a book about pacifism." It would be an even bigger mistake to call it "a book about Christian pacifism." Brian says as much when he clarifies that he doesn't claim the pacifist label at all. He is not a pacifist but a Christian - a follower of Jesus, including Jesus's radical and very political ideas (Ch. 1).In other words, the gospel of peace shouldn't be thought of as some extraneous add-on to Christian identity, best … [Read more...]

Embodied Creatures: Non-Verbal Communication, Power, and Communion [Scott Emery]

Ours is a world immersed in sound. We are both enthused and mesmerized by the cacophonous cocoon seemingly keeping us warm and safe. In our earbuds, in our bedrooms, in our cars: sound both follows us and is produced by us with a rabid tenacity. Some of it is self-inflicted. Some of it is forced upon us. Regardless, it has become ubiquitous. Akin to many cultural assumptions, sound is believed to be good based on its pervasiveness.Generally speaking, sound is a good thing. It is a medium by … [Read more...]