I have become so used to communicating in small little bits of bytes that the prospect of again getting back to blogging As It Is Meant To Be is somewhat daunting. The simple act of reflection beyond the moment or the immediate schedule seems to be becoming a lost art. But there are welcome exceptions.
For instance, Brian McLaren, a writer who often speaks to my theological heart, has a knack for writing that I admire. His recent book, "A New Kind of Christianity" is a well-constructed sequel in thought to some of his earlier works. I don't need to review it here; there is little I can add to those who have already done so. But I share it here to record some of the sorts of thinking I have found helpful.
I have also been reading "Grow Your Church Form The Outside" by George Barna, a Christian demographer I was privileged to meet some years ago. Barna is a survey-taker and reflector upon modern trends in American polulations. While he is somewhat more edgy on the evangelical side than I am, I still find his observations to be interesting--and most of the time right on target.
Adam Hamilton, pastor of the huge Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, graduated from the same seminary I attended...although years later. I have visited that church and attended workshops there. He writes well and produces an amazing number of books and video courses for the consumption of the Church at large. His comments are always practical, and, for the most part, appropriate for congregations of diverse populations and sizes. You can't argue that success isn't impressive!
"ReChurch-Healing Your Way Back to the People of God" is a good book by Stephen Mansfield which focuses on folks who have been hurt, disenfranchised, offended, or somehow alienated from their faith communities. I am working my way through this slowly because I think he has important things to say, and I want to remember them. I wish I had had these insights when I came to my present congregation!
Not everything I am reading is heavy theological stuff. I am enjoying a book of stories called "Wizards", a collection of short stories about, well, wizards. They are very interesting and memorable. And, of course, I enjoy reading the blogs and notes and emails from all of you.
My time is up for now...see you later!