Learning to Walk Backwards [Fr. Tony Bleything]


They say that the best improv artists have learned the art of walking backwards.  Good improv artists keep an eye on the past story while building it in creative unexpected ways, which moves the action forward.  The ascension of Jesus Christ enlists the church in the greatest improv event in history.  As the body of Christ, we are called to learn to walk backwards.  We are asked to keep our eye on the story of God as we move out in creative and unexpected ways that reveal the Kingdom of God to a … [Read more...]

Meditation on a Twitter List (Over 1,000 Dead) [James Gribble]


I have a Twitter list dedicated to Neo-Calvinist/Young Restless Reformed/TGC/SBC-type leaders. During the destruction of Gaza over last four weeks, that list has produced two tweets on the subject. Over 1000 dead in Gaza. I've seen one tweet praising Israel for standing strong in the face of oppression and one explaining how Palestinians are to blame for what they're suffering. However, the list has not been silent. With around 100 posts a day, what has this list been tweeting about as Gaza … [Read more...]

Learning the Art of Sketchnote Preaching [C. Wess Daniels]


Two years ago I spent the month of September writing the majority of my dissertation, “A Convergent Model of Hope: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture.” During the third of my four weeks off I hit a major wall. I had written three chapters and was at the point that I needed to bring together a variety of key ideas and thinkers and I just couldn’t figure out how they all wove together - not exactly where you want to be this late in the game but that is where I was with it. My … [Read more...]

What Do You Do When You Don’t Like the Bible? [Mandy Meisenheimer]

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What do you do when you don’t like the Bible? Recently, The Resurgence posted some tips by Ryan Kearns about how handle biblical passages that make you feel uncomfortable:Rejoice that you are reading the Bible rightly. Study and try to understand the context of what you are reading. Observe your culture and lives and realize that they are not normal. Ask in community, seeking conviction in your own heart for parts of your life that must change to conform to Christ. Pray, asking … [Read more...]

Quit Worrying [KrisAnne Swartley]

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Small to medium sized traditional churches with long memories + a changing culture that increasingly finds our traditions irrelevant to daily life= decreasing attendance and tithing = high levels of anxiety.Is it too much of a generalization to say that this is the context in which most pastors in the Northeast United States minister? It is certainly my context, although hope is present as well. Not long ago, it was time to lead our congregation through change, and we let them know that the … [Read more...]

Israel, the Internet, and Purging the Scapegoat


In his new book A Farewell to Mars, my pastor-at-large Brian Zahnd spends some time on the powerful theme of scapegoating. This is not my full review of the book (that's coming soon), but it is a quick riff. Because this theme struck a particular chord, considering the way people so often engage in this destructive social practice. I think we've been seeing an extreme example of scapegoating in the Israel-Gaza conflict. And I think we see it happen in smaller ways all the time - perhaps e … [Read more...]

The War Is Over; It’s Time to Stop Fighting [Anderson Campbell]

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It was the day after Christmas, 1944. In Europe, the Battle of the Bulge was in full swing. On the other side of the world Hiroo Onoda, an elite Japanese soldier and intelligence officer, was dropped behind enemy lines on Lubang Island in the Philippines. His mission was to link up with a small group of soldiers already on the island and conduct guerrilla warfare and covert operations. The departing orders from Onoda’s commander, Major Taniguchi, were clear: You are absolutely forbidden to die b … [Read more...]

Ending Well [Levi Holland]


Leaving a place that has become home is difficult. It's unnatural really. We connect to a place and a people, understand the lay of the land and the ethic of a society. To simply uproot is not only becoming increasingly unpopular within a "local movement" orientation, but it is incredibly painful. This is a story about my family doing just that, uprooting from one place to replant ourselves in another.Ending well, as I have learned, is an artform, not a template. When I told 30 students and … [Read more...]

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Gaza: A Barbaric Slaughterhouse


Looking for prophetic insights in a Wes Anderson film can be a little like looking for physics insights in a Will Ferrell movie.That's not really what Wes and Will are on about.But Wes is on about nostalgia - in a stylish, ironic, and occasionally hilarious sense. And the nostalgia of his latest film (now on Redbox, yay!) is front and center from start to finish. In fact, The Grand Budapest Hotel is basically a nostalgic film about nostalgia.The narrative centers on the hotel's … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Jason DeMeo

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If you want to get into a lively debate with anyone, just ask them a variation of this question: Which _________ was the greatest of all time? Which basketball player, singer, actor, writer, and especially rapper. Let's take a moment to ask the rappers themselves...Jay-Z (Who refers to himself as J-Hova, as in Jehovah): I drop that Black Album then I back out it/As the best rapper alive, ***** ask about me. Nas (Who refers to himself as God's Son) My first album had no famous guest ap … [Read more...]