What’s Driving this French Revolution?

I was talking with friends in the UK this morning sharing stories about some of the creative edges where the Spirit is gestating forms of Christian life that are so encouraging and, potentially, transformative. These stories are about people operating outside the usual boxes of what it means to be church. They’ve formed table churches in their neighborhood, a hairdresser, without planning to do so, has formed a community of people in the shop who are talking about life with and without God. And on it goes – the bubbling of the Spirit in the ordinary. I long for existing […] Read More

Why Not a Christian counter movement to neo-liberalism?

Recently I was sitting with friends on the back deck when the topic of neo-liberalism came up.  Somehow, each had heard the same podcast about neo-liberalism and were pondering its implications. These friends are not academics who read economists or social theorists but ordinary people who, looking at what is happening in their worlds and to their children, are getting scared. They sense that they’ll, probably be alright but their children and grandchildren? This fear now runs deep. My friends are also Christians who, in the privacy of the deck, expressed their frustrations about the churches they attend. They see […] Read More

The Death of Truth?

The Death of Truth? Michiko Katutani, The Death of Truth (NY: Tim Duggan Books, 2018) Conversations about our so-called “post-truth” world expand and, now, move into a stage of violence were offence with the other leads to bomb threats and tweets. This loss of a sense of truth at the core of our discourse is troubling in so many ways. Its sources are not recent but the current outworking of post-truth narratives are terribly disturbing. It now goes far beyond notions of “fake-news”, the ways social media warp reality to fit one’s tribal viewpoints, or Russian meddling in democratic processes.  The […] Read More

Encounters with the Unexpected

From August through October I’ve been away from writing. A brief sabbatical.  In September Jane and I journeyed for the month around the UK and Ireland then I travelled to Korea. Jane and I ambled about London returned to old haunts (a favourite book store, the best cider bar, a speciality store for a new diary and journal), saw a play and connected with friends. In Belfast we enjoyed the hospitality of Heather Morris’s home. Heather provides strong leadership to the Methodist church in Ireland. We drove up to the Giant’s Causeway beguiled by the Irish story about giants who […] Read More

What kind of character do we need as God’s people?

Jesus describes the character of a community of God’s people as a city on a hill; their vocation is as a beacon light seen shining in darkness. This description makes clear Jesus undaunted conviction that God is effectively at work in our contexts, our own cities and towns. It is also an extraordinary invitation to communities of God’s people wherever they may be. It gives a clear sense of their identity. To be a light on a hill is to embrace a profoundly disorienting way of being in the world, in the neighbourhood. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t […] Read More

The Battle for Paradise

I’ve just finished reading a little book on the situation in Puerto Rico by Naomi Klein (No Logo, Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No is Not Enough). The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists (2018) tells the story of what has happened to Puerto Rico after the dual blows of the 2008 financial meltdown and, last year, the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The book shares stories about the amazing ways ordinary people, with little political power inside systems making decisions, are fighting for its future. Klein describes the battle in terms of two utopian stories in contention for the […] Read More

Places of Hope in an Age of Anxiety

Euro-tribal Christians are adopting another focus of energy in their unravelling. They’ve moved past church health, New Church Development, discipleship and missional church; today the focus is some combination of church planting and being in the neighbourhood. It doesn’t take much prescience to see that lots of conferences will crop up with groovy techniques for how your church can go local. The chances of objectifying our neighbourhoods are high. Issue 10 of the Journal of Missional Practice (journalofmissionalpractice.com/category/issue-10/) shared stories of Christians who are discovering the importance of place, of encountering God in their local, everyday experiences. It’s worth listening in […] Read More

What’s in the notion that religion doesn’t matter anymore?

Within Canada, like so many other Western nations, are stark differences and variants of religious expression. The challenge in discussing the state of religion within Canada lies in the question: Which Canada? Is there a normative “Canadian” religious scene or religious context? These questions struck me reading an interview with Canadian religious and social commentator, John Stackhouse (www.contextwithlornadueck.com/2018/06/22/dangerous-dreaming).  John is Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He’s been on ABC, NBC, CBC, CTV, and Global TV as well as on CBC Radio. He’s written in numerous newspapers and magazines […] Read More

Refounding Communities of God’s People

Refounding Communities of God’s People[1]  What’s Involved in Leading?  The “Camino” Journey – Part 1 This is the first of several posts proposing some of the actions that are needed for the refounding of the Euro-tribal churches in North America. Introduction – Call to Refounding: Since about the 70s of the 20th century there has been an almost continuous series of attempts to address the decline that has continued across practically all the Euro-tribal churches. In my book Joining God I proposed several reasons why these attempts have, and will continue, to fail. Overall, these initiatives are funded by an admixture […] Read More