Among the refreshing waters of the missional church movement, a few voices are drawing attention to an undercurrent of concern. This concern surfaced a few times in the converstations surrounding the A Missional Reading of Scripture conference last week. One person, who was following the various #MRSC13 tweets, simply asked about the demographics, noting that the speaker list was primarily (though, not exclusively) white, males. This same theme was lamented by Danielle Rowaan (@DanielleRowaan) “Hoping that as we dream of a better missional future for the Western church @ #MRSC13 we include the voices of women. #alwaysreforming” Voicing a similar perspective, Kyuboem Lee (@kyuboem) tweeted: “Q I wish I could’ve asked @ #mrsc13: How can missional convo esc fate of academic fad if not done w subdominant cultures in urban contexts?” Continue reading
Calvin Seminary recently hosted the A Missional Reading of Scripture conference. The conference brought together Christopher Wright, Tom Wright, Mike Goheen, and Darrell Guder along with a well-rounded group of workshop leaders to facilitate dialogue on how a missional reading of scripture impacts various aspects of living as God’s people. In part 1 of this reflection, I posted some of my summaries and responses to what grabbed my attention from the first day of plenaries and workshops.
This post reflects the happenings of Day 2 at this conference. I did not stay for the panel discussion at the conclusion of the conference – though I heard I really missed out on a meaningful and encouraging dialogue. Word from Mike Goheen (@MikeGoheenSays) is that audio from the conference will be available on Calvin Sem’s website some time next week.
This post covers Day 1 of the A Missional Reading of Scripture Conference. My reflections on Day 2 can be found here.
I’m spending today and tomorrow at the A Missional Reading of Scripture conference at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. Michael Goheen has pulled together the line up for this conference, giving space to N. T. Wright, Christopher Wright, and Darrell Guder to share their perspectives on the way mission shapes God’s word and God’s people. Perhaps, the brilliance of the conference, however, is found not in the big names, but in the three streams that shape the space between the plenary sessions. These streams focus on the relationship of A Missional Reading of Scripture and Preaching, and the Local Congregation, and on Theological Reflection on a Missional Hermeneutic. I’m planning to spend most of my time in the Local Congregation stream as it looks like it will have a fair bit of overlap between my current academic and pastoral work.
Throughout the next two days, I’ll add a few thoughts and reactions to what catches my attention in the conference. While this won’t be a live blog, I’ll keep this post going as a running commentary with updates throughout my time here. If you’re on twitter, you can follow the larger conference dialogue at #MRSC13. Continue reading
This morning, I found myself praying by simply listening to the wind. Don’t get me wrong: I am not talking about a mystical or other-worldly experience that overtook me. And I am certainly not advocating the adoption of a neo-pagan meditation practice. Rather, in listening to the wind, I found myself praying – but the praying was not me bringing words to the table, but me learning to be still. Psalm 46 comes to mind. As I think about it, this listening prayer really started last night as I noticed one of our trees leaning a bit more than usual as the rain soaked the ground and the winds pushed their way through our area. It continued through the night as the wind howled around the corners of our house and the trees’ groaning woke me several times. And then again this morning, as I drove our kids to school this morning and felt the need to adjust my steering in order to compensate for the wind’s continued pushiness, I continued to listen. Continue reading
They’ve started already. Actually, they’ve been arriving for quite a while already. We received our first “Holiday Gift” ad in the mail the first week of October – a full week before Canadian Thanksgiving. One local retailer had Christmas displays up the same week they put out their Halloween displays. And it has not been without effect: two of our kids took it upon themselves to pull our Christmas decorations out of storage and liven up their bedrooms with the seasonal decor. Twice now, another one of our kids has turned on a selection of our Christmas music. And in the interest of full confession, I have already purchased and (mostly) consumed the first 12-pack of candy canes. Continue reading
Over the past week, I’ve read three different posts all advocating for a shift in the way the church engages potentially contentious conversations. Essentially, the authors are calling for a shift from debate to dialogue. In many ways, I think each of their articles are presenting a perspective on how the church can embody our apologetic through the character of our conversations, rather than just with the verbal content of our faith.
I’ve linked the articles below with a short summary. I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions to these articles. How do we make these transitions well? Does one of these articles resonate with you more than the others? Continue reading
I thought I’d try a new angle with posting this week. Rather than my typical approach of serving up my thinking on a particular topic, this post highlights a few of the blog posts and other readings that I’ve been considering over the last couple weeks. My hope in this post is to share a bit of what is stirring my imagination and reflection at the moment, and then to invite you to add your voices…or posted responses as it were. I’ve included links on freedom of religion and sexual orientation, African-American experiences of Christian colleges, and a “Slow Church”/”All-Things Church” conversation on approaches to community engagement. So, here’s the first (and so far only) edition of “Other People’s Thoughts.”
It was one of those extended arguments that we couldn’t let go of. We had only been married for a couple years and it seemed like every conversation we had over that particular three or four day stretch would result in one of us choosing sides against the other. One of us would see the bright side of the cloud, the other would point out the grey. One of us would want the window open, the other would walk past and close it. Yes, it got that ridiculous. The tension permeated everything. Though I no longer remember what we were really fighting about, I can still recall that sense of anger and disbelief and frustration and self-righteousness mingled together. Continue reading