Thursday, December 08, 2005

Radical Orthodoxy Resources

At the last Cohort we discussed a developing theology called Radical Orthodoxy. Here are some resources if you want to investigate. Please add more than you all find.

1.) James K. A. Smith’s Introducing Radical Orthodoxy
2.) John Milbank et al. Radical Orthodoxy


1.) Graham Ward. Interview with David Inge. Focus 580. WILL-AM. 11 March 2002. (Thanks Jonathan)Graham Ward Interview

Internet and Blogs

1.) R. Reno from First Things in 2000. ” The Radical Orthodoxy Project
2.) Dixon’s Limited Blog Summary )here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Another Sign, or Someone to Look Up To

Maybe one day some of us can be like this guy.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Top 10 Signs You Might Be Emergent

In the lecture series I linked to in the comment below, Michael Wittmer (author of Heaven Is a Place on Earth) gives the following 10 signs you might be Emergent. I offer them here for laughs and to encourage you to listen to the series.

10. If you have never read Left Behind, never said The Prayer of Jabez, and never led the 40 Days of Purpose
9. If you think you saw a megachurch on VH1's I Love the 80s
8. If you wouldn't be surprised to find Gandhi in heaven, but would be floored to find Jerry Fallwell
7. If in a debate with Jack Van Impe you'd likely argue that the bear is America and the AntiChrist is Pat Robertson
6. If your preacher just cussed and it seemed appropriate
5. If you honored your pastor with a box of fine cigars and beers on the house
4. If your cool hair resembles a midwestern Ryan Seacrest and if you have no hair and still look cool, you just might be a leader of Emergent
3. If you use the word "groove" as a verb and don't sound like a dork
2. If you purchase church supplies from a Buddhist bookstore
1. If your favorite Carson is Johnny

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sacred Cows and Radical Orthodoxy December 1

We're going to have our last Cohort gathering of 2005 next Thursday December 1 11:30-1:00 at the Flying Saucer.

In a postmodern ethos where nothing is unquestionable we are going to look at Emergent itself. Is this a legitimate response to post-modernity and helpful in suggesting a new way forward (I think it is) or is it more a group of evangelicals who have discovered liberalism (Thomas Mackenzie's position).

It's a question worth asking and we'll do so (with Thomas and I presenting our positions for conversation) on the 1st. We'll also have some discussion around a burgeoning new theology known as Radical Orthodoxy and contemplate it's implications on our conversation as well.

Should be good.
See you there,

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Cohort takes November Off

The cohort will not meet on the first Thursday in November. Instead we'll take the month off (which we could justify with some sort of theology of taking the seventh meeting off/Sabbath thing - but we won't) and come back in December.

December 8 we'll have conversation around this question: "Is Emergent really a new movement engaging the emerging culture, or is it simply evangelical discovering liberalism?"

It's a great question and I look forward to getting into it with you all.

So, mark your calendars for December 8 and I'll see you at the Flying Saucer.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dwell Prayer Experience

I'm new to Nashville Cohort and wanted to know if there was anyone in the cohort who will be willing to volunteer (free) at a Bellevue rendering of the Emergent Conference Labyrinth and Prayer Chapel. It’s a community wide experience that I'm leading; I am working on promo pieces for churches to have. I will be posting promo pieces to my xanga blog

I would like to get the word out about this event and if the response is good it will become a regular scheduled experience. At this moment, I'll need help with set-up, tear down, creative ideas, and the biggie need is for spiritual directors to pray one on one with people if they need it, I'm thinking two people at all times. There will be a table for people to approach these directors and if the mood demands there will be a back room where people can go and pray.

This experience will be held October 26 & 28 (Wed & Fri) 7-10pm, if you would rather not volunteer but experience it for yourself, I'm recommending an hour to really get depth out of it.

This is being held at Designer's Church close to the I-40 ramp and 70S (exit 196 - Bellevue)

Its part of a strip mall.
a: Bellevue West Plaza 7648 Hwy 70S (next door to Sam's Grill and Bar)
c: 615-482-4450 if there any questions


Thursday, September 15, 2005

October Cohort

Hi Folks,

I'm up in October to facilitate our time together. I recently agreed to a 2-book thing with W Publishing of Thomas Nelson Publishers and book one is due out in Sept of 06. I am currently working on it and I would be intersted in your feedback and input. For now the book is entitled:
SHEDDING RELIGION TO FIND GOD (and the unlikely people who help you)

I have the chapter synopsis and the two introductory chapters posted at

Pretty much the blog was created just for the purpose of our cohort. The current book title works well since I myself am a "nobody" and can see God's sense of humor in my putting a book out there to connect with others of us, many who are searching for God (even Jesus) outside of Christendom.

In a couple of weeks I get some more specifics to you to help guide our conversation in October.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Volf Conversation

Is anyone from the Nashville Cohort planning on going to the 2006 theological converstation with Miroslav Volf? I've already registered and was wondering if anyone else was planning on going. You get a free book.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Cohort Gathering this Thursday

The Nashville cohort will again convenes at the Flying Saucer (in the game room) this Thursday from 11:30-1:00.

Our topic will be "The Bible in the Emerging Context" and here are few suggestions for preparation for this conversation:

1.) Come prepared to share your traditions approach to the Bible. We all come from different denominations. It will be great to share how each of our traditions appropriates and venerates the scriptures. Perhaps we should each also prepare to discuss our own personal relationship to the text.

2.) Read this short essay by Neil Livingston called How Can You Trust The Bible. He asks a lot of good questions and frames some of the emergening culture issues as we approach to the Bible.

As always comments and suggestions on this blog are welcome and encouraged to kick things off.

Blessings and Peace to you all and we'll see you there.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

thoughts to get started...

some thoughts from the "new forms of leadership for new forms of churches" critical concerns course at emergent. we were discussing the question "how does race/ethnicity impact our issues of power/control?"

  • we as church leaders need to remember that whenever we stand in front of people, we have the ability to silence people.
  • we need to talk from our own experience...and to listen to others talk from theirs...instead of assuming that we can speak from where we have not been.
  • we need to go beyond simply asking people to participate, but to learn how to stand in God's power and recognize the ways in which we use control to keep some people out and to let other people in. denial is a part of what we do to keep people out.
  • we need to be mindful of the power structures that often exist within different cultures.
  • there is a challenge not to be naive...but also not to be frightened.
  • we must continually wrestle with how to break down barriers, how to build bridges.
  • we need to "out" many of the poisonous secrets that we've been harboring for a long time.
  • we need to prepare ourselves for the uncomfortable and allow ourselves to go there.
  • sometimes race issues aren't really race issues. we just don't know how to form relationships.
  • we must continually find ways to bring issues of race, gender, power, and control to the table in order to keep these a part of our ongoing conversation.

Monday, August 01, 2005

August Cohort Gathering

Greetings All,

The next gathering of the Nashville Cohort will be this Thursday:
August 4
at the Flying Saucer
111 10th Avenue South
Located behind the Union Station hotel
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 259-PINT
  • here
  • for directions.

    In the Pool Room.
    (When you walk in the main entrance, continue straight ahead into the pool and game room. You'll find the cohort in the far back.)

    Our conversation will center around the topic of racism and it's impact on our practice of community and church life here in the south. Thomas will be kicking off our discussion with a, well, provocative media clip. Should be great conversation.

    Post any questions you have about the topic here. We'll use them to guide our discussion on Thursday.

    See you there.
    Peace and love,

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    The Problem with Salvation

    Yesterday I found myself in the middle of the Nashville Cohort Meeting at Flying Saucer. During the course of an hour or so, we transformed a back billiard room into a scared space as we discussed both the eternal and existential aspects of that scary Christian word: salvation.

    Being emergent types, we had more of a “here and now” application to the idea of salvation, and did not hold it as an exclusively “then and there” type of event or process or phenomenon. Of the 8 men gathered there (Lynnette was there in spirit and got the ball rolling with her previous post), we did not speak as scholars or rote theologians. We didn’t even speak as pastors. We spoke as individuals profoundly affected by the grace of God. We knew that our lives had been changed and that we lived differently because of some action we received and in which we participated. We believed in that experience enough to talk about it, which is a great first step.

    As good discussions do, we left with more questions than answers. We struggled with issues of justice, inclusivity, evangelism, math, Scripture, and the eternal. But I was comforted by the words of a Buddhist I met in Cambridge: “Nothing great theologically comes without struggle.”

    What is this problem then with salvation? Is it a definition problem, one of mere words and prepositions that will have us wrangling over what we are saved from, to, by, because of, with, or for? Is it an ontological problem, one that leaves our minds grappling over how this salvation exists, whether it happens in an instant, whether it happens for eternity, or what forms it takes either in the present or in the forever? Is it an epistemological problem, one that makes each person wonder if their experience was real, if their assurance is justified, and well, whether or not it all makes sense? Or is it a different kind of problem entirely, one that no one has yet thought about, but will inevitably hit someone in the worst possible moment, like the night before a big test, or the day before a wedding, leaving us shaking and sweating, and wondering if we said the prayer right, if our baptism counted, and if Jesus was even paying attention during all of this or instead was out bowling with the disciples?

    We can do word studies, we can read Scripture, and we can debate intent, cause and result. But, yesterday, I saw the reality of salvation. It was a reality that brought people together from different walks of life, and different theological backgrounds to drink some beer and eat some chicken fingers. And it was in the middle of a setting like that years ago that Jesus stepped in and said: “He or she who believes has everlasting life. (John 6:47)”

    Some walked away and grumbled to themselves, and some walked away and believed. (John 10)

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    what must i do to be saved?

    so i've already used that title for a post on my blog. oh well. on to a comment about salvation...

    since i grew up a cooperative baptist and now work in the united methodist world, i find tension surrounding the idea of salvation.

    one of my coworkers recently visited a church which she described as "very baptist." she talked about the "invitation" at the end. apparently a young child walked down the aisle to make his or her "profession of faith." she seemed somewhat appalled by this action. i guess she thought i would be appalled too.

    and i suppose i might be. except for the fact that i can remember one particular night in my childhood when i experienced some sort of calling from God and decided that i wanted to be identified with this God. i initiated a conversation with my parents that evening. several weeks later, i walked down the aisle. several weeks after that, i was baptized.

    i don't know that i would describe any one point in my life as the point of salvation. i tend to think of salvation more in terms of process and journey than a one-time event. i don't really recall any time in my life apart from God. but as a child i did experience that moment of recognition...and i wouldn't write it out of my life story.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    July Cohort

    Greetings All,

    The next gathering of the Nashville Cohort will be this Thursday:
    July 7
    at the Flying Saucer
    111 10th Avenue South
    Located behind the Union Station hotel
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 259-PINT
  • here
  • for directions.

    In the Pool Room.
    (When you walk in the main entrance, continue straight ahead into the pool and game room. You'll find the cohort in the far back.)

    Our conversation will center around the topic of salvation in the emerging/missional church context.
    Post any questions you have about the topic here. We'll use them to guide our discussion on Thursday.

    See you there.
    Peace and love,

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Now, what shall we talk about?

    Last month the cohort took a stab at conversation generated around a topic and kick-startedthings with a presentation. Jay Voorhees shared some great insights on the topic of ecclessiology and then we all jumped in and talked further. The conversation was excellent (at least around my end of the table) and I'd like ask two things:

    1.) Was this a helpful format?
    2.) What shall we talk about this month and into the future?


    (Topics suggested at our first gathering:
    - Soiteriology
    - Ecclesiology
    - Consumerism
    - Involving the senses in Worship
    - Worship Style
    - Spiritual Formation).

    I know something about that!

    Another way to guide our conversation during cohort gatherings would be to have someone share some thoughts, practices or questions they are currently wrangling with and use that as a spring board for discussion. The Chicago cohort does this and it has been helpful to them in the past.

    What do we think? Is there anything any of us would be willing to prepare and share something for the cohort one month?


    Monday, May 30, 2005

    June Cohort Gathering

    Our next cohort gathering will be this Thursday, June 2 from 11:30-1:00.
    We're meeting at the Frothy Monkey on 12th Ave. S.
    We'll have tables set up on the patio so come through the restaurant toward the back to find us. Again,
    I am tall bald with black glasses.

    Our topic this month: Ways of doing and being church (ecclesiology if you're nasty) in within our cultural current context (re: emerging). Jay Voorhees will make a few statements to get our conversation rolling.

    Also, Jonathan Norman will lead us in a devotional or sorts.

    For directions to:
    Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse
    2509 12th Ave S
    Nashville, TN 37204
    (615) 292-1808

  • Directions
  • Thursday, May 05, 2005

    Welcome to the Nashville Cohort!

    We are a gathering point for conversation surrounding the emerging church here in Nashville.
    The way the blog is set up is that each post represents an area for Brain Storming and further conversation based on decisions and questions we asked at our first gathering. We are becoming.

    Our first gathering yielded many great things. One was the following 5 "thesis" for the way we would like to have life together.

    We agreed that our cohort will seek to be:
    - As constructive as it is deconstructive.

    - Space for authentic and vehement questioning while trying to avoid gatherings being simply a bitch session.

    - A people of praxis. The Cohort will involve elements of corporate worship, sharing from each of our traditions and try to avoid the "over-itellectualism" that can dominate this conversation.

    - Diverse. We recognize our responsibility in broadening the diversity of our group and will actively pursue such opportunities.

    - Formative. None of us need "another meeting" in our week. Our desire to have the cohort exist as something that forms us more into the image of Jesus. We will intentionally to participate in it as such.

    Post here to add, tweak or comment. Welcome to the cohort

    The Nashville Cohort "On-Ramp Reading List"

    These are our community's recommendations to those beginning this conversation with us here in Nashville. Our "on-ramp reading list" should represent what our community sees as most helpful given our context.

    Post here to suggest a book or email dixon (

    For a more comprehensive list visit

    ¿What Are We Going to Do?

    Initially our gathering will be centered around different topics germane to the emerging church conversation.
    We all agreed that time at the cohort will be about pushing farther into these ideas to find more beautiful and challenging conclusions. We will all seek to move beyond our preconceived opinions, statements and even questions.

    Topics Suggested:
    - Soiteriology
    - Ecclesiology
    - Consumerism
    - Involving the senses in Worship
    - Worship Style
    - Spiritual Formation

    Post here to suggest more.

    ¿Time and Day?

    The Nashville Cohort will continue meeting over lunch from 11:30-1:00 on the first Thursday's of each month.

    This may be tweaked for our June meeting, but following that we'll continue on first Thursdays.

    Post here to react or respond.


    At our gathering we decided that consistency, geography (in Nashville proper) and parking were the biggest factors in our meeting place. We also considered making a prophetic statement with our meeting place.

    Suggested locals were:
    - The Scarrit-Bennett Center
    - Rocketown
    - Bongo Java
    - The Upper Room
    - The Flying Saucer

    Post here with other suggestions. We'll have something nailed down by the end of the month in time for our next meeting.

    Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    Cohort Tomorrow

    If you're coming to the Cohort Meeting at Alketor May 4, head to the back room. We have some tables reserved and look for Dixon who is tall, bald with balck glasses.

    See you there.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Next Cohort Gathering May 4

    Our initial gathering for the Nashville/Middle TN cohort will be 11:30a Wednesday, May 4 at the Alektor cafe (next to the Scarret-Bennet Center).

    Out time together will be spent connecting, sharing in conversation and discussing what the future of this cohort could be.

    Email me ( with any questions or suggestions.

    Peace in Jesus,

    203 Louise Ave.
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 340-0098

    Friday, January 28, 2005


    Here we are kids