There is No Such Thing as “Church”…Just Us In Faithful Relation To Each Other

As some kind of Christian most, if not all, of my life  I have always taken for granted – even if at times “taking” it also meant wanting to “leave” it – something called the church. The very title of this blog, i.e., “the church and postmodern culture”, assumes there is actually something “there” (a true Aristotelian... Read More

Boredom and the Possibility of Community

Several years ago, I had the privilege of serving as a Eucharistic minister in a small church community in upstate New York. I had come to the Episcopal Church as an adult after a childhood spent in evangelical congregations of varying degrees of fundamentalism. My mother was a converted Catholic and preferred the emphasis these churches placed on relationship over ritual. I came... Read More

Extended Review and some Possibilities for James K. A. Smith. Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works.

Introduction Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. –P.J. O’Rourke As I read and re-read Jamie Smith, P.J. O’Rourke’s quote seems rather apposite to my experience of that reading.  I consider that being found dead with one of Smith’s books open in my hands would be a great way to slip away from this life. The influence of Jamie... Read More

The Liturgical Turn: Toward a Theology of Birth / An Advent Meditation

Joseph.  I’ve always found him extremely fascinating.  I guess that’s partly due to the fact that we’re told so little about him.  We know he was incredibly obedient to God.  He was present for Mary’s pregnancy, Jesus’ birth and childhood, but once Jesus grows up, he’s strangely absent.  The traditional reason is that he simply passed away. ... Read More

The Liturgical Turn: Worshiping Among The Chaos

Earlier this week, David Gelernter posted a really good article over at Big Questions Online that caught my attention. It did so because I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine, who works as an aerodynamicist for a major NASCAR team, that centered on the relationship of entropy to eschatology.  That is, if the world is subject to disorder and decay (Romans 8:20,... Read More

Ecclesiology as a Rival “Ascetic” of Desire

(I have edited this post realising my most of the content was pre-mature, and please forgive any consternation this causes.  And apologies where the comments do not align with this truncated version) Within my PhD work I have ben trying to understand how capitalist markets affect Christian identity formation.  Within the work of Bernd Wannenwetsch, William Cavanaugh,... Read More

Music in Worship: A Discussion

Since it’s been rather quite around here lately, allow me to take advantage of open-source thinking and pose a couple questions.  What is the role that music plays in worship? and…. Is there a difference between playing music in a worship setting as opposed to other settings? To elaborate a little:  It is certainly the case that the church can gather for worship,... Read More