Monday, November 29, 2010

Return of the King! This Thursday at the Cohort

Advent greetings all,
The Nashville cohort returns for this Thursday, December 2 at the Flying Saucer for a conversation that will take us back to the future;)

Advent is a season of the church year dedicated to the Second Coming of Christ. As such, the Cohort is going to explore this most diversely interpreted doctrine by asking, "What are the missional implications of Christ's second coming in our day?" "Does it matter anymore and if it does matter, why?"

To avoid the conversation devolving into an eschatological pissing match I want to offer any of you who have particular views on the second coming to email them to me so I can present them for "missional evaluation on Thursday. This way everyone gets heard and we can have a constructive conversation about something that even Jesus warns not to get too fussy about.

Directions and times are below. Call you lunch orders in by 10:30 if you're able.
11:30-1:00pm at the Flying Saucer in the Pool Room:
11 10th Ave. South
(Located Behind Union Station)
Nashville, TN 37203


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What Are You Wondering?

Greetings all,
The Nashville cohort convenes tomorrow to ask the question "What are you wondering?". Bring your freshest questions and conjecture and we'll get after them all over lunch.

Directions and times below. Call in your lunch orders (615) 259-3039) by 11:00 if you're able.
11:30-1:00pm at the Flying Saucer in the Pool Room:
11 10th Ave. South
(Located Behind Union Station)
Nashville, TN 37203


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Cohort gets Foolish this Thursday

The Nashville cohort returns October 7 for another installment in our series, "The Hard Words of Jesus and postmodern interpretation".

This week we wrestle with the implications of Jesus' parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21).
If you can, read it here first and think about what implications are for Christians seeking to do the justice of God in a world of greed.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Churchhouse Disney

Greetings all,
The Cohort begins it's fall run this Thursday with a conversation about Jesus and Disneyland.

We will me from
11:30-1:00pm at the Flying Saucer in the Pool Room:
11 10th Ave. South
(Located Behind Union Station)
Nashville, TN 37203

Our topic this month is: How do we helpfully navigate, engage and remain wise regarding the Disneification of Christianity and how do we move from decrying it to redeeming it?
Come out September 2 for the conversation


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Cohort Returns September 2

Hey all,
Hang in there through the heat advisories and look for the cohort to return Thursday, September 2.
We'll have a conversation about culture, Disney and the kingdom of God.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cohort gets Patriotic on July 1

Greetings all,
The Nashville cohort finally returns July 1 for a conversation about "God and Country".
How do missional Christians live as excellent citizen's in their countries with out kowtowing to empire? And, what's more difficult, what does a discipline of holy gratitude look like for the country we live in and the people who have died in it's service?

Come out July 1 for conversation around all these confusing and powerful issues. Holly Rankin Zaher guides us through these issues!


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cohort Off for Tomorrow - Back in June

Hey all,
Given recent events in Nashville the Cohort will not meet tomorrow.
Please keep everyone affected by the flood and the volunteers that are serving them (which include some of our regulars) in your prayers.
If you have a need please let me know and I can connect you with some of the great volunteer organizations in the city.

The cohort will reconvene June 3.

Thanks and peace in Jesus,

O merciful Father, who has taught us in your holy Word that

you do not willingly afflict or grieve your children:

Look with pity upon the sorrows of your people for whom

our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy,

nourish their soul with patience, comfort them with a sense of

your goodness, lift up thy countenance upon them, provide for their physical needs

and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Insurrection Happens tonight!

Author/storyteller Pete Rollins and friends come to Nashville as part of an international tour featuring Pete's work, original music.

Doors will be at 7:00. The show starts at 8:00!
Price: $10

From the website:
The task today does not lie in some naive attempt to return to the early church.

The church before Constantine
The church before Platonic philosophy
The church before Paul
The church before...

For these moves fail to bring us back far enough.

Rather we must call a new army of agitators into being. Dissidents courageous enough to return to the event that gave birth to the early church. A new breed of individuals brave enough to turn back so as to advance.

Through a provocative cocktail of incendiary theology, haunting soundscapes and musical lament Peter Rollins and friends will offer an invitation to set forth on this perilous return. A return that will strip everything from us, incinerate everything we hold dear and inaugurate a new year zero.

In short, this Easter Rollins and friends set out to remind us that belief in the event of Resurrection means nothing less than participation in Insurrection...

Joining Peter will be the poet/singer songwriter Pádraig Ô Tuama and the artist/DJ Jonny McEwen. Pádraig will be launching his first solo album 'Hymns to Swear By' on this tour and has previously contributed to the ikon album 'Dubh'. He has been the artist in residence for Corrymeela and is a published poet. Jonny specializes in developing immersive ambient soundscapes and creative audio montage. His latest album is entitled 'Fractured, Broken and Beautiful'. He is also an accomplished painter whose works can be found in many significant public and private collections.

Warning... this tour involves the use of strong language and ideas that may be unsuitable for those easily offended

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Je$u$ Loves Wall Street this Thursday at the Cohort

Our next Cohort gathering is this Thursday, March 4 from 11:30-1:00pm at the Flying Saucer in the Pool Room:
11 10th Ave. South
(Located Behind Union Station)
Nashville, TN 37203

Topic: Wall Street Je$u$: Erick Goss from Creative Trust Media stops by to talk about why Christians should be into Big Business and Wall Street is where the redemptive potential of the kingdom actually is! Provocative stuff from the great thinker!

Also on deck:
2.) Pete Rollins' Insurrection Pub Tour Rolls into town April 5 and we still need a venue. If you have any ideas, contacts or suggestion hit Dixon back. Thanks.

3.) A Conversation with Tony Jones, April 22
Jopa is in town doing a Pastor's Technology Bootcamp (as well as some speaking at Belmont) and Tony is interested in coming in early and having some face time with the Cohort. Keep the afternoon/evening of April 22 open for a potential meet up with him.

See you Thursday,

Friday, February 05, 2010

I Was Wrong...


Next time I act confident about a Greek text but don't have it in front of me, tell me to produce the text or shut up.

I was very confident about the wording of John (or Matthew, or whatever) 8:7 yesterday. And I was also completely wrong about that wording. I apologize and ask your forgiveness.

The English translations of verse 7 then are generally right. The Greek (and right now I have it in front of me, so you can consider that I've produced the text!) in that verse is either an adjective or a past participle-- Anamarthtos-- (H equal Eta in Greek, long e). It could be translated either "Let the sinless one" or "Let one not having sinned." It doesn't refer to "her sin" or "this sin." This form is not noted as having any variants in the textual apparatus in the Third Edition. Indeed, there are not apparatus notes on verse 7 at all.

What I think I may have remembered is a textual note about some additional words found in a number of variant texts of verse 8. These variants add the following after "And again, having knelt down, he was writing into the earth"-- "the sins of each person [there]." The vast majority of texts omit these last words. Only 9 include them.

And there's good reason for that. It sounds like a gloss. It throws off the parallelism with the last time "into the earth" showed up (verse 6). It probably is a gloss. That is-- it doesn't belong in the text. It's an attempt by someone or several someones later to clear up a mystery that the text left open-- namely, what Jesus was writing "into the earth." (That's an interesting turn of phrase in itself-- one might have expected "upon" (epi in Greek, plus the genitive case), but instead we get "eis" ("into," with the accusative case). Perhaps what is being described here is more like an "inscription" than simply moving the top layer of dust). The text itself seems to want to keep what Jesus was writing or "inscribing" a mystery. Whether it's a reference to Jeremiah (and if so-- where in Jeremiah? Writing on the ground against the enemies, or God's inscription with an iron pen of the sins of the people of Judah at the opening of Jeremiah 17?) or to something else that this text's first readers/hearers/circulators might have known (or that someone in their community would have explained to them) we also don't know.

My comment about this yesterday wasn't just wrong. It may have thrown off and misdirected our conversation. And I apologize and ask your forgiveness for that as well.

In the spirit of "questions" and "wonderings" we sometimes engage in, let me offer a few that take seriously the text as we have it.

1) Was Jesus here setting up an additional "standard" or "step" toward proceeding to condemnation by insisting that accusers be entirely sinless before they could impose a sentence (condemnation)?

2) If so, just what does his own decision not to apply the sentence, either, mean?

3) Or, if he's acting as sort of the judge/convener of the "sentencing" part of an impromptu trial, would be generally be exempt from imposing a sentence himself (i.e., does he get voice but no vote)?

4) Or is the "two or three witnesses" rule in play here-- that is, given the basic dictum in Torah, "let everything be established by two or three witnesses," and here there are no witnesses remaining, is Jesus simply saying "Well, trial's off. An insufficient number of witnesses (zero, in this case!) means no condemnation can be meted out."

5) Or is Jesus challenging their interpretation of the law, since if she was caught in the act, that means the man was, too, and where is he?

Question upon question. This story can take us in all sorts of directions.

I do still think we ended up at a fruitful missional point, though, consistent with at least one way of dealing with this text. And I do think it is about what to do as we judge-- whether in our discernment of wrongs done we tend toward a path that opens up new life and community, or whether we tend toward a path that inevitably leads toward shackles and death.

Whether this story belongs in John, whether it belongs where it's placed in John, whether it ever happened, whether it even belongs in the canon, it still presents for us that challenge... and it's one that I think is very consistent with the kinds of challenges Jesus and the reign of God continually posed and poses.

Peace in Christ,

Taylor Burton-Edwards

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Jesus Writes in the Dirt at the February Cohort

This month at the Cohort we jump into one of the more controversial and confusing stories from the New Testament: Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.
As always there is more than meets the eye to this text and depending on your church expression you'll find this story both challenging and/or affirming. Come out this week for a vigorous midrash around the narrative and some good food and drink as well! Preachers, bring your notebooks!

See you Thursday,

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

January Cohort Cancelled

Hey all,
The January meeting of the Nashville Cohort is going to be cancelled due to (admittedly potential) inclement weather.
There is a chance that when the storm comes tomorrow we could all make it out, but there is a greater chance my children will be out of school. If they are I will need to be available to care for them as I'm sure many of our other members will be too.


No meeting tomorrow and we'll be back February 4 with another midrash conversation about the hard words of Jesus in the woman at the well story from John 4.

Peace all,