Learning

len on July 12th, 2017

“It is very difficult to give up certainty-these positions, beliefs, explanations define us and lie at the core of our personal identity. Certainty is a lens to interpret what’s going on and, as long as our explanations work, we feel a sense of stability and security. But in a changing world, certainty doesn’t give us […]

Continue reading about partnering with uncertainty

len on July 3rd, 2017

In 2007 David Fitch offered an overview of the work that Mark Lau Branson is doing around appreciative enquiry. Alan Roxburgh likewise applauded the benefits of using”appreciative enquiry” in local congregations as part a transformation process. Alan suggested AI as a tool which enabled people to be “listened into speech.” Mark’s book is Memories, Hopes, […]

Continue reading about Appreciative

len on December 13th, 2016

Linda Cannell’s article closes Part IV of Life in the Spirit (IVP, 2010) with, “Theology, Spiritual Formation and Theological Education.” Her essay has some interesting connections to the arguments James Smith makes in Desiring the Kingdom, esp his closing chapter, “A Christian University is for Lovers.” (Or more recently his boiled down version “We Are […]

Continue reading about church, academy and the desire for God

len on October 26th, 2016

I have been asked to plan a course for next year that explores different maps for spiritual formation. I went to bed last night with the terrain in my head, wondering what are the essential questions that must be addressed. Phyllis Tickle came to mind – in her book The Great Emergence she lists the […]

Continue reading about models of spiritual formation

len on July 26th, 2016

I’ve been invited to teach the Missional Leadership course in Auckland this summer. These are some of the books going into preparation.Obviously, we’ll have to define some of the critical components: culture, leadership, missio Dei. But beyond that, the critical factors are formation, discernment and innovation. And this means that identity and imagination are the […]

Continue reading about Laidlaw College, Auckland

len on July 11th, 2016

“We are all now, more or less, epistemological pilgrims.” Paul Helm I spent a few days in Chilliwack, then nearly two weeks in Kelowna — a nice change of pace and of scenery, and time with family and friends. I’ve learned not to take more than a couple of books along – that is the […]

Continue reading about learning and change

len on May 16th, 2016

Love this statement by Tim Keel — “people call and they want our doctrinal statement and I refuse to give one out. You know why? Because it is shorthand. It says, Oh, that’s the kind of community you are. And people in our culture today shop church. In other words, we’re so concerned with orthodoxy […]

Continue reading about orthodoxy

len on April 5th, 2016

IVP has released volume 1 and 2 in this series, volume 1 edited by Colin Brown, and volume 2 by Steve Wilkens and Alan Padgett. I spent a couple of hours perusing volume 1 on Sunday evening. From Socrates and the Sophists to Kant, from Augustine to Aquinas and the Reformers, Brown traces the turbulent, […]

Continue reading about Christianity and Western Thought

len on March 16th, 2016

An excerpt from Broken Futures, chapter 5 (unpublished) It took many years for Israel in Egypt to realize that their lives had become unmanageable. And then came the transition to the Promised Land. That went well, right? Well, sort of. It took just a few days for Israel to get out of Egypt. It took […]

Continue reading about old wars, new wars

len on March 15th, 2016

Back in 2009 Roger Helland I began talking about the integration of mission and spirituality: that these were never meant to be two parallel tracks, but a rhythm of life in discipleship. That book came out through IVP is around 240 pages, and is aimed at college and seminary students and others doing serious theological […]

Continue reading about Intro to a Missional Spirituality