Church As We Know It

The Church: “The community of people who have decided, through the history of mankind, to both follow the teaching of Jesus, and model their lives after the life of Jesus.”

Leaving all the historical process of canon formation, Constantine, baptisms at swordpoint, organized church births and splits, ecclesiology and postmodernist preferences aside, that is a central definition that seems biblical in tone.

So, the question for today is, how do you feel (I use that word intentionally), about Church as you’ve known it? Define Church in whatever way you want.

As for me?

I believe more and more in the ruling Story. It’s way better than two turtles holding up the earth, or that you and I were made to just enjoy life and die.

I believe less and less in mankind’s historical capability to distill, theologize and strategize the Story’s advancement or the Church’s optimal organization (though I think Christians do missional community better than Microsoft execs or Wall Street gurus ever will).

I believe more and more in the power of extreme love, authentic community, sacrificial living and the power of the Spirit of God to transform a heart. I believe in what I call a centripetal spirituality — a way of sacred living in the world that draws people in by the sheer force of its character. To me, we’re approaching “Church” as we approach these themes.



Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.