Exploring Our Life Together: Congregation

Exploring Our Life Together: Congregation

Before beginning to explore the different components that make our worship life together, I think it is helpful to step back and examine who the “who” actually is. The gathering would not exist without the people who make the community their own, and any attempt to understand the activities requires that we take their composition into account. Our congregation is diverse- we have some who are multi-generational pillars of the community and others who are

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Exploring Our Life Together: Introduction

Exploring Our Life Together: Introduction

I’m spending this summer writing a series for our church about our particular set of worship. We are a Christian Church in the Disciples of Christ tradition that have developed an odd mix of high church practices (such as candle procession, pastoral vestments) despite being formed out of frontier revivals and low church theology. We are also in Orange County, CA, USA, which is the epicenter for megachurch and ecclesial contextual adaptation. So I’ll be

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Review: Less of More

Nye writes from his location as a pastor in Silicon Valley, California, which provides a backdrop for contrasting the excesses of American ideologies. While personal examples are scattered throughout, the primary material for forming his descriptions come from a wide array of social critics, demographic data, and theologians (although he does have a tendency to cite conservative Christian leaders more frequently and has more than one footnote pointing to a Wikipedia page). Over three sections

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A little Judgment to start my day…

A little Judgment to start my day…

The word of the day is Judgment. More specifically, Divine Judgment and what to make of the Bible’s characterization of God requesting/demanding/perpetrating violent judgment upon humanity. I’m in the very early stages of booking an event for two scholars on violence in the bible to discuss the subject, so I took notice when acquaintance posted a review of one of these professor’s work, in which he tries to make a point that God’s judgment is

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New Books! 12.6.18

New Books! 12.6.18

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted and I have actually picked up lots of new books in the past few weeks, but today I took my dad to my favorite bookstore that happens to be down the street from my house. Religion, white privilege, decolonialism, and (maybe) cultural engagement…

Review: Healing our Broken Humanity

Review: Healing our Broken Humanity

Healing Our Broken Humanity (Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill) is an excellent* book for a small group study that is seeking to reinvent or reinvigorate their church’s action in the world. As I initially looked at these topics, I realized that chapters 2 through 9 were in the opposite order that made me comfortable. To begin with lament, repentance, and relinquishing power are very foreign concepts to me as a white, cis-hetero, Christian male. It is much easier for me to discuss “community life” and “reconciling relationships” because these are more abstract areas that do not have a direct challenge to my life. This order however demonstrates the…

Teaching Christianity

Teaching Christianity

It is past midnight and I am too excited to sleep (I need to though- I am supposed to help all morning at my kids’ preschool at 8:30am).

I am finishing my presentation for a class on Christianity as a World Religion. The seminar is presented by a local interfaith association to the community and I’ll be covering ALL. OF. CHRISTIANITY. in 90 minutes.

I love this type of audience because I get to talk about Jesus and a life of faith with people who do not have all of the baggage that I’m used to dealing with…

Interpreting mewithoutYou – Julia

Interpreting mewithoutYou – Julia

Oh glorious morning! An unexpected new single from mewithoutYou! They have been one of my favorite bands from the last decade because of their unique sound and imagery that’s woven throughout their material.
I’m going to explain a few of the references and then give my take on what I think the overall meaning could be.

New Books! 8.7.18

New Books! 8.7.18

Today’s trip to my local bookstore yielded some stuff on the Enneagram, spiritual formation, and applying textual hermeneutics to pastoral counseling…

Lament and Liberation: A New Liturgy

Lament and Liberation: A New Liturgy

In 1953, J.B. Phillips wrote a book called “Your God is Too Small”, in which he first describes the various ways we “undersize” God and the issues those assumptions create before opening into the necessity for an “adequate” sized God that captures both transcendence and immanence. It is an essential exercise to de-tangle the conceptions we have of God from the character of God. In the ambiguity of God’s presence, it is natural to fill in the blanks based on the template we choose. But the danger inherent in this is what to do when our real life collides with the template we have inherited.