Preaching Fools: A Conversation with Chuck Campbell on Preaching, Folly, and the Arts (Part 1)

When I took a preaching class in seminary, I never expected it to be such a creative launching pad for me.  We listened and watched all kinds of preaching and preachers and focused on different, and sometimes novel, ways of communicating both clearly and compellingly.  I went on to take another course, with professor Chuck…

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On NOT being a Minister

It is Sunday morning, and I have no sermon to preach and no Bible Study to prepare.  I will attend church, but I will not be expected to serve Communion or set up mid-week pastoral appointments.  I have no mailbox to check in the church office.  I have nothing to print out, no copies to…

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Great Buechner Quote on “The Church”

In light of our series on loving the church in all its glory and messiness, I wanted to post this from Frederick Buechner.  It is from his sermon “The Church” in Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons (New York, HarperOne, 2006), pp. 146-53. Jesus made his church out of human beings with more…

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Interview with Jason Byassee (pt. 2): The Rift between Church and Academy

This is the 2nd part of our interview with Jason Byassee (for part 1, scroll down or click here).  We have written quite a bit on the idea of the pastor-scholar / pastor-theologian here at HR (see previous posts for some links).  Jason’s pastoral and writing ministry seems to hug the edges of the (sometimes…

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Checking back in with Jason Byassee (pt. 1): Theology, Writing, Social Media & the Local Church

For our series on “Loving the Church” in all its grit, grime and glory, we had some exchanges with Jason Byassee.  Before accepting an appointment as Senior Minister at Boone United Methodist Church (North Carolina), Jason worked at Duke Divinity School, heading up their Center for Theology, Writing and Media.  Since a lot of our…

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Churches and the Church: Soaring Vision | Messy Reality

This new series is devoted to loving the church. A hard sell.  Especially for younger Christians for whom leaving the church, or at least heftily criticizing it, is vogue.  Those departures and critiques not entirely without some justification.  I wrote in my book on cynicism toward the church that as “an untidly conglomeration” of damaged,…

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The Process of Missional Engagement – Part 4

“White Man’s Burden” – Mission as North American Takeover After a little hiatus, we’ll resume our Process of Missional Engagement series.The idea up-and-running is that, as pastors, we need a better way of leading people to engage the mission of God. In my experience, there seems to be an observable path in which Christians involve…

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The Surprise of Self-Righteousness

[“Loving the Church: The Soaring Theological Vision | The On-the-Ground, Messy Reality” is a new ongoing series for HR.  The Process of Missional Engagement is still underway, and there will be random blog posts from here and there,  some from guest contributors]   The church is beset by ailments innumerable, of which many voices in…

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