The early church was a fascinating phenomenon. It grew prolifically through its first 300 years from a small sect to the Roman Empire’s dominant religion. This growth in and of itself is captivating enough, but the really remarkable part of the story is that the early church - by all apparent evidence - wasn’t trying to grow. There were no marketing strategies, no programs, no organized effort at evangelism. Rather, the focus of “the People” was on the patient ferment of transforming behavior and instilling, through time, new habits and new virtues. We host this conversation to ask the question, “what might we be missing in the church story today?"
Guest Speaker: Josh Payne
Join us as we look into the Bible’s graphic novel: the imaginative series of word-pictures we know as “Revelation”. Even though Revelation is often ignored by Christians everywhere because it’s considered confusing, associated with fear, etc., Revelation is actually a retelling of the Gospel story in an incredibly compelling way. It doesn’t say anything new…it says the same thing in a new way.
We often associate God with light, which is perfectly justified and healthy. Scripture does too! But in our light-saturated faith, we easily miss that God is also darkness. “I form the light and create darkness” (Isaiah 45:7). We risk the danger of becoming “luminous Christians”…Christians who only know how to function in the light, but suffer from a darkness disability - an inability to navigate the dark places in the world, in our faith, and in our lives. Join us as we take a “walk in the dark” this Lent season.
“Saints” is a word and concept not widely used in Protestantism. But we do a great disservice to ourselves by not knowing more about the great men and women who came before us and changed the world because of their impassioned faith. Many of these special people contributed greatly to what we today assume is “normal” Christianity. Throughout this teaching series, we will take a longer look at one “Saint” each week and form our conversation around some of their most essential ideas and revolutionary teachings.
Guest speaker: Matt Appling
Join us as we look at specific visions of Isaiah which the lectionary gives us for consideration this Advent season. Prophetic visions speak directly to our wants and longings. They also challenge the status quo and are sometimes threatening to the dominant culture. Sounds like Advent...
Many thoughtful teachers, philosophers, and leaders throughout history - including Jesus - challenge the Western assumption that people are primarily thinking beings. What these teachers suggest is that behavior, habits, and morality spring from a much deeper well than our brains. If we truly want to know who we are, it will prove most helpful to look towards our hearts instead of our heads. “What do you want?” is a much more revealing question than “What do you think?”
Guest Speaker: Ken Howard
Words like "ritual" and "tradition" may seem anachronistic in our modern society. But far from being mere "superstition," ritual is exactly how humans are wired to bring order, rhythm and meaning to life. Explore our primal, God-given hunger for the power of ritual and its effects on our faith, families and futures.
What does “Gospel” really mean? What do we imagine when we use the word? A spiritual transaction that involves forgiving sin? Join us as we look at the four dominant stories that framed Old Testament reality and formed Jesus imagination for “good news”.
A candid conversation about five virtues that are absolutely crucial to the formation of the church, yet so completely unsexy that they are often ignored, if not completely dismissed, by not only the wider culture, but the church itself.
Contrary to what we’re often told, what if God’s purpose for us is not happiness…or even fulfillment? What if there’s a better and healthier intent for humanity, but an intent that can’t be reached unless the relentless pursuit for personal fulfillment is abandoned? Join us as we discuss God’s ultimate vanishing act.
Although we may believe, most of us labor to imagine and experience God in the everydayness of our lives. How do we move from being “unbelieving believers” – people who struggle to live in the reality of God’s felt presence - to people who live awake and present to the God who is always present to us?