April 17, 2016

The following is an excerpt from the last chapter of Brian Zahnd’s brand new memoir Water To Wine. It’s been an honor to feature excerpts here over the last couple months, and I cannot recommend this book enough. Chapter 9 gives us a powerful, personal plea to “Come with me”: I prayed this prayer, “O God, I want to dedicate the rest of my life to knowing you as you are revealed in Christ. As much as I can mean anything in a… Read more

April 7, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 8 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. Chapter 8 offers a beautiful creation-centric vision of recovering Christian mysticism: When Karl Rahner predicted that “the devout Christian of the future will either be a mystic or he will cease to be anything at all” he was keenly prescient. Indeed, the hope for vibrant Christianity… Read more

April 5, 2016

The following is a guest post by A.J. Swoboda, a pastor, professor, and author from Portland, OR. His new book, The Dusty Ones, is on sale now. There’s that old story of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. One day, Mr. Schopenhauer walked down the street only to bump into, head on, another pedestrian who walked casually without paying attention to where they were going. Totally involved in his own self-involvement, the pedestrian asked Schopenhauer, “Who do you think you are?”… Read more

April 1, 2016

In a wonderful op-ed for The Guardian, Canon Giles Fraser talks about what Easter and resurrection mean for his centuries-old parish in South London: On Sunday morning, just before dawn, a group of us gathered outside church and kindled a small bonfire. From there we passed the flame to a large candle and processed it into the nave – the tentative, flickering light illuminating the dark corners of the building. And from that large candle, we all lit our own… Read more

March 29, 2016

As the Republican and Democratic primaries rage on, folks across the country are being faced with a choice. For some that choice is a difficult one; for others it’s a matter of sanity versus outright stupidity. And I’ll admit, when it comes to the two GOP frontrunners, Decision ’16 pretty cut and dry for me: #NeverEither. But these political choices have me thinking about another choice, and maybe the parallel is more obvious than ever in this political season. Namely, the… Read more

March 28, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 7 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. Chapter 7 may be the fullest exposition of Bishop BZ’s central thesis: that more secularism is precisely what the church doesn’t need (and more sacredness is precisely what we do need). And it starts with a timely illustration: A sense of the sacred may be… Read more

March 24, 2016

On the cross, Jesus was victorious over sin, death, and the devil. While Christians often understand how Jesus was victorious over sin and death, we sometimes struggle with how Jesus defeated the devil. We must not think that between His trial and His resurrection, Jesus engaged in some sort of cosmic Western gun duel with Satan. It was not as if Jesus and Satan met on some dusty road in hell, each one squinting and grimacing at the other waiting… Read more

March 21, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 6 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 chapter dives into a particular part of Brian’s transition, inspired by St. Francis – from immature impatience to a gentler, quieter faith: I had cut my teeth on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century revivalists, but after three decades of that kind of Christianity, I came to… Read more

March 11, 2016

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 bringing… Read more

March 7, 2016

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… Read more

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