Brian Zahnd on the Anger and Fear Destroying Practice of Contemplative Prayer

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter every week for the next couple months. This one builds upon the previous steps in Brian's journey by disclosing the anger and fear destroying practice of contemplative prayer:Contemplative prayer is prayer without agenda, and largely without words. But this is not to be confused with just "thinking" about something. This is b … [Read more...]

Katelyn Beaty compares Trump evangelicals to Mark Driscoll

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Christianity Today editor Katelyn Beaty makes an interesting comparison between the kinds of evangelical leaders that follow Trump and those who might follow or resemble Mark Driscoll: But there are evangelical leaders with whom Trump would feel quite at home. Like him, they are middle-aged men who refuse to submit to basic checks on their power and ego...So long as there is growth, many evangelicals hesitate to address clear and troubling signs of … [Read more...]

Brian Zahnd is Not Just Spiritual – He’s Religious

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. While I've missed a few weeks due to some family health issues, Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter every week for the next couple months. This chapter makes a startling claim - that being religious, not just spiritual, is precisely how we are Christian.In keeping with a healthy dose of rebellion, I unabashedly call myself religious. Self-identifying as a relig … [Read more...]

Donald Trump and Franklin Graham: An Eruption of the Real

The following is a poem by the pseudonymous Blind Man at the Gate. It was inspired by a revealing statement recently made by Franklin Graham. An Eruption of the Real by Blind Man at the GateIt’s an eruption of the real when With the son of Billy Graham “Make America Great Again” Trumps “I was a stranger and you took me in”A ridiculous red hat Trumps The words written in redWe want a wall A real classy wall Make it fifty feet tall To keep “them” out You know, Mexicans Wet … [Read more...]

The Campaign Ad That Always Makes Me Misty (Yeah, It’s Bernie)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nwRiuh1CugThis year I decided to make no bones about my support of one of the Democratic presidential candidates.Bernie Sanders.And this video sums up why I feel that, as a Wesleyanabaptist messy-middle Christian, I can express my public support with no qualms. Namely, Bernie is the closest thing we have to a candidate who champions the cause of real people, real Americans, and particularly those who are struggling economically or marginalized and o … [Read more...]

Brian Zahnd’s Abrahamic Dream – And What It Means For the Church

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter over the next couple months. This chapter tells the story of three dreams BZ had during his water-to-wine journey, and this selection focuses on the first: a dream about searching for the faith of Abraham in the "epicenter of capitalism," New York City.At one point in the dream I found myself following the crowd - which rarely is … [Read more...]

Deeper, Richer, Fuller: The Cross and Consumerism in Brian Zahnd’s New Book

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Brian Zahnd's brand new memoir Water To Wine. Brian has been gracious enough to let me share portions from each chapter over the next couple months. BZ's journey resonates with me greatly, not least because I've also been caught up in a water-to-wine story. This excerpt expresses more of that journey - which begins at the cross.Seen in the light of the Easter dawn, the cross is revealed to be the lost Tree of Life.In the middle of a world do … [Read more...]

A Tweetable Homily on Martin Luther King Jr. and Forgetting Our History

The following is a guest post by James Gribble. His bio is at the bottom. Every ‪#‎MLKDay‬, without fail, that one line about content-of-character vs color-of-skin from that one speech Dr. King gave that everybody knows about pops up all out of context. And this serves a purpose: to remind us that the struggle isn't over and the dream has yet to become reality. Likely by the same mechanism by which we claim Jesus' "Blessed are you when you are persecuted" but miss his "Blessed are the peacem … [Read more...]

Remembering the Beginnings: Steve Wiens Introduces His Brand New Book

The following is a guest post by Steve Wiens that includes an excerpt from his brand new book, Beginnings. See his bio at the bottom.I suppose it might be considered a cliché to say that my first book discovered me; that it fluttered down to me in a bright burst of color and flame, beckoning and irresistible. But it did.It came to me as a question, but one with a smirk and a wink. It was a delicious question, the kind that invites you to leave Bag End with only a walking stick and a … [Read more...]

Leaving Grape Soda Christianity: A First Look at Brian Zahnd’s Water To Wine

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Brian Zahnd's brand new book Water To Wine: Some of My Story. Be sure to pick up a copy - it releases today wherever books are sold!I once heard an Italian winemaker say that to produce good wine the grapes must struggle, they must suffer.The taste of good wine is the taste of struggle and suffering mellowed into beauty. There’s a deep truth there that applies to far more than winemaking—it also applies to the formation of the soul. All the gr … [Read more...]


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