Wendell Berry speaking in Frankfort, Indiana
Folks, Wendell Berry is a challenging and even mind-altering guy. You need to read him. Here’s my co-professor from the Resources for Radical Living course, Mark Van Steenwyk, head of the Missio Dei new monastic community in Minneapolis and editor on www.jesusradicals.com, on that redoubtable eco-prophet, Mr. Berry:
Wendell Berry, The New Agrarianism, and the Penitential Life
When we hear the word “penitence” we think of friars and monks living lives of austerity. We don’t usually think of farmers. We don’t think of living enmeshed within the abundance of creation as a penitential act.
Today we’re going to explore the “New Agrarianism” as a penitential movement. In particular, we’ll explore the life and writings of Wendell Berry as a penitential voice calling us to turn from our unbalanced lives into a better way (which is, after all, the heart of the penitential life). Continue reading
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After my sympathetic post today about Peter Leithart‘s new book, Defending Constantine, my Anabaptist friend Mark Van Steenwyk responded as follows:
*in steps Mark, who has been lurking in the shadows*
Could you give an example of some commonly asserted “polemical nonsense being spouted these days about Constantine?” I get that there is more to the story than Constantine, and that he isn’t the lone Villain responsible for developing a sort of pro-War, nationalist Christianity. But doesn’t he play his part? Is Yoder being unfair?
*returning the shadows* Continue reading
Yup, “Christian” teenagers in America are more likely than not to believe “moralistic therapeutic deism.” That was sociologist Christian Smith’s coinage, and although he’s not mentioned in the following CNN.com article, the diagnosis remains the same: American Christians are not teaching their young people enough Christianity to get arrested for. Maybe they should check out Mark Van Steenwyk’s and my “Resources for Radical Living” course (coming someday to a bookstore near you).
(CNN) — If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:
Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible. Continue reading
This is the third in a series of posts on the Resources for Radical Living course(s) and book by Mark Van Steenwyk and me (Chris Armstrong). The first post presented the original version of the course. The second presented the revised structure of the course and book.
This third post presents the revised list of case studies.
Even more important, this post asks you, dear readers, to comment on these case studies and suggest any primary or secondary readings that you think will help Mark and me as we work on these new case studies and our students as they plunge into this challenging area of “radical Christian living.” Continue reading
Posted in Resources for Radical Living
Tagged African-American Christianity, base communities, Benedict of Nursia, Benedictines, Bethel Seminary, black church, Catholic Worker Movement, communal life, compassionate life, Daniel Berrigan, devoted life, Dorothy Day, Ernesto Cardenal, Francis of Assisi, Franciscans, John Chrysostom, John Wesley, liberation theology, Mark Van Steenwyk, Martin Luther King Jr., Methodism, pacifism, penitential life, Philip Berrigan, poverty, prophetic life, slavery, the poor, war, Wendell Berry
After a busy first half of the summer, Mark Van Steenwyk (of the Missio Dei community and the www.jesusmanifesto.com webzine) and I met a few days ago to update our “Resources for Radical Living” course in anticipation of teaching both a Masters and a DMin version of it this coming winter. Over several hours of woodshedding, we made some significant changes, which will also ripple through to our proposed book. I’ll post on the changes in a moment, but first, here are the basic rationale and structure for the course and book, including the figures and movements we used in the first iteration of the course:
[See also post 2 of this series, describing the revised structure of this course, and post 3, giving the revised set of case studies]
Resources for Radical Living
American Christians today—especially 20- and 30-somethings—are going to church and asking: “Is that all there is?” They are aware that those outside the church don’t want to hear about their religion unless they can see it in the way they act. They are aware of the critique leveled by such teachers as Ron Sider and Tony Campolo—that evangelical Christians just don’t look that different from the rest of the world in key areas of behavior and social practice. Continue reading