Weekend Must-Reads {09.09.11} | church leadership retreat edition


This weekend I find myself with the honor, joy, and privilege of heading to a two-day long leadership retreat for my amazing church, liberti church: center city. In honor of this, I wanted to post articles by myself and others focusing on Church philosophy, community, and such. Some of them are a bit longer than usual, so feel free to grab a cup coffee before digging in. I hope you find these helpful and encouraging no matter where you find yourself in relation to the Christian Church. Have a great weekend. And be sure to stop by next week; I’m pretty excited for the stuff I’ve got planned for the blog then.

And Thus It Begins: liberti home meetings & my heart | the long way home

liberti: center city’s home meetings start next week. I wrote this blog post last year the day before I began leading a brand new group in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of Philadelphia. It’s wonderful to look back over the past year with these people and see that God has answered every prayer I had in this post. I’m still serving these amazing people as their leader, and I can’t wait to see them on Tuesday.

On the State of Contemporary Theology | Fors Clavigera – James K.A. Smith

Here, the author of one of my favorite books I’ve ever read, Desiring the Kingdom, offers his thoughts on the current state of theology, denominations, and theological education. A quick must-read for all.


How gospel communities are different to some things that look similar | Tim Chester

Yet another author of one of my favorite books of all time, this time a book called Total Church (Amazon link). In this video, Chester explains some of the Church Philosophy ideas in the book and how this differs from other church community ideas that may look similar.

[How] Do You Love? | Storied Theology – J.R.D. Kirk

Kirk is one of my favorite bloggers and he wrestles with much of the same stuff I do. Here, in this brief post, he contemplates his love for the church. What does it look like? How does he not love the Church?

Is there such thing as an evangelical social gospel? | Tim Hoiland

Friend, thinker, writer, and soon-to-be-married man Tim Hoiland wrote up an extended book review of An Evangelical Social Gospel? Finding God’s Story in the Midst of Extremes. Interesting read. Enjoy.

Creation, Evolution, & Christian Laypeople | Biologos Scholarly Essays – Tim Keller

This is a paper Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City wrote to help pastors that believe God created the world by means of Evolution walk their people through this realization. It’s a very helpful article by one of the foremost pastors in the country.

Sphere Sovereignty 101 | Cardus

liberti: center city is a member of the Reformed Church in America (read more about our relationship to the RCA here). All this means is that its unique theological tradition comes out of the thought of Dutch theologians after the Reformation. One of the most influential of these theologians was a guy named Abraham Kuyper–theologian, pastor, and former prime minister of Amsterdam. He articulated the way in which the church interacts in society by means of a model called “Sphere Sovereignty” (wikipedia). This article attempts to simply walk the reader through this idea that can easily get complicated. I’ll be honest–after this article, I’m still confused. I’m putting this up more in the hopes that someone else can explain it to me.

How Can the Bible Be Authoritative? | N.T. Wright

This is one of the most amazing and perspective-shifting lectures I’ve ever read in my life. It has forever altered how I will teach, preach, and look at the Bible. Anyone dealing with the Bible needs to read this article and wrestle with its implications. For a fuller, more recent treatment of this topic from Wright, see his book The Last Word: Scripture & the Authority of God. This was a major influence in my recent teaching on the narrative of the Bible.

ASSET (Advancing Stewarship, Social Enterprise, Training) | The Chalmers Center 

This is a great program I found through Tim Hoiland’s blog. Watch the video on this home page. It explains a program by which American churches are connected to help out foreign churches that need investment. It’s a beautiful and substantive program. Everyone should check it out.

Of Liturgy, Communion, & Relationship [a liturgy] | the long way home

This is a liturgy I helped write-up and lead the church in one Sunday just over a year ago. People found it helpful. It tries to connect the idea of the gathered community of faith to the liturgy and the worship service itself.

You can see all of my bookmarks here.

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