30 May 2014

Festival of Homiletics: Convicted

Like I said: the Moleskine got a workout
I was in Minneapolis last week for the 2014 Festival of Homiletics, which is fancy church-geek speak for "preaching."  Four full days of lectures on preaching and worship services featuring great preachers from a wide array of Protestant churches.  I heard from Walter Brueggeman, Anna Carter Florence, Barbara Brown Taylor, MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Lauren Winner, Otis Moss III, Karoline Lewis, John Bell, and Brian McLaren, and I regrettably had to miss lectures and sermons by M. Craig Barnes and Will Willimon (good news, though - for a small fee you can buy recordings!).  My hand was cramping from all the notes and my Moleskine filled up rapidly.

08 May 2014

Book Review: Mediating Faith by Clint Schnekloth

(c) 2013 by Fortress Press

Contemporary media studies would remind us, if nothing else, that all of life is mediated, and much more is media than we are often aware. (p. 3) 
Humans, though they speak of technology as if it were separate from them, are virtually incapable of living a nontechnological existence. (p. 102)
--Clint Schnekloth, Mediating Faith:  Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era

It is with these thoughts in mind that Clint Schnekloth embarks on an examination of what it means to be faithful, as an individual Christian and as a leader of Christian community, in an age of constantly developing media and technology.  Published from a dissertation presented toward earning the Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, there is much here that will be helpful for all of us trying to navigate the waters of our trans-media times.

01 May 2014

Book Review: Wide Welcome by Jessicah Krey Duckworth

Wide Welcome by Jessicah Krey Duckworth
(c) 2013 by Fortress Press, Minneapolis.
"Congregational life today for many Christians is much more an experience of organizational membership...it usually does not matter what expectations or intuitions newcomers bring to a congregation, because what newcomers encounter is a comfortable, closed gathering in which their presence is not necessarily needed." 
"To be a Christian church is for the people under the cross to practice a confession of faith, hope, and love, welcoming newcomers into discipleship practices where faith meets doubt, hope meets despair, and love meets the suffering world." 
--Jessicah Krey Duckworth, Wide Welcome:  How the Unsettling Presence of Newcomers Can Save the Church,  from the Introduction.

Full confession:  I count Jessicah Krey Duckworth and her husband Chris as friends in addition to being colleagues in ministry, so I was predisposed to think highly of this book before I even cracked the cover.  That having been said, I think Wide Welcome brings a needed and valuable point of view to those of us who are concerned with the future of the church, particularly as the church moves from the age of American Christendom to the emergence of whatever is coming next.