Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus

slow-church-bookAs I shared before on here, a couple of months ago, I received a review copy of a new release from IVP. The book is Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, co-authored by Christopher Smith and John Pattison.

I can truly say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in my 17+ years as a Christian, for it captures a lot of what I see the church called to in the present-day.

What is that call? Let’s explore through the lens of Slow Church. Continue reading

C.S. Lewis on Poetry

reflections on the psalmsFor my birthday, I was given a gift card to Barnes & Noble. It’s great to know the people in my life know me so well – coffee, beer and books. I’m pretty easy to please!

So I stopped in to Barnes & Noble over the weekend to browse the shelves to see if I might find a candidate worth purchasing with my gift card. I did find something. My choice fell to C.S. Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms. I decided on it because a) I’m teaching Old Testament Survey this semester, and we’ll take a whole 3-hour session to cover biblical poetry and the Psalms and b) knowing I teach at a creative-hub, such as Visible Music College, it seems appropriate to share C.S. Lewis’s thoughts on the Psalms. Here was a creative and imaginative giant. More a philosopher and story-writer, over and above being a poet. Yet still, I believe he’ll have some beautiful thoughts to offer on the Psalms.

Here’s something I came across in the Intro chapter on God’s desire to speak, or incarnate, through poetry: Continue reading

The Great C.S. Lewis on Desire

weight-of-gloryMany might have read or heard this quote before from The Weight of Glory, but below is a stirring quote by the great C.S. Lewis on desire.

Perhaps every desire that does arise within, even every wicked desire, is simply calling us towards he who is The Desire. Maybe we should not immediately suppress, push away these desires, but rather ask why such desires truly exist.

Listen to Lewis: Continue reading

Sycamore Row – by John Grisham

Sycamore_Row_-_cover_art_of_hardcover_book_by_John_GrishamThis past weekend, I completed John Grisham’s most recent novel, Sycamore Row. I’ve read all his books (except for a couple of the children’s novels). This was truly an enjoyable read, mainly for 3 reasons:

1) I hadn’t read a fiction novel in a few month’s time, with my head mainly stuck in theology.

2) The book takes you back to where Grisham’s novels all began: the 1980’s in Clanton, Mississippi. Specifically it connects back to his first published novel, A Time to Kill.

3) For me, the book had a good, emotion-evoking end.

Here’s the Amazon blurb: Continue reading

The F-Word for Pastors – “Fail” by J.R. Briggs

Fail JR BriggsFirst off, I’d like to thank the kind folk of IVP for a review copy of J.R. Briggs’ newest release, Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. It’s always a pleasure to receive such gifts!

J.R. Briggs serves as Cultural Cultivator of The Renew Community, a Jesus community for skeptics and dreamers – based in Landsdale, PA. He also serves as Director of Leadership & Congregational Formation with The Ecclesia Network. Even more, he’s becoming most known for creating the Epic Fail Pastors Conference and now the penning of this new book.

Failure is not an easy word for pastors. Well, that’s probably true of most people! Of course, when many think of failure for pastors, their mind might typically imagine some grave moral failure. And, though, such is true at times, it is a small slice compared to the greater reality that pastors deal with concerning failure. Continue reading