1. Mars Hill – Ruth Lenten Series
On Sunday morning, I’ll be speaking at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of their Ruth Lenten Series. If you live in the area, gatherings are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. If you want to listen online, you cansubscribe to the podcast or listen here. I’m super-excited—mostly because Ruth is one the most inspiring women of valor found in Scripture, and I just love highlighting all the ways in which she broke the rules. I’ll also be sharing some photos from my "year of biblical womanhood."
2. "Blue Like Jazz," The Movie
"Blue Like Jazz" will be in theaters April 13! I haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet, but everyone I’ve spoken with who has seen it has absolutely loved it...even folks who went into it with a lot of skepticism. If you want to get a sneak peak, along with the chance to meet Donald Miller and Steve Taylor, check out the Blue Like Jazz Movie Tour.
3. "Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex"
I got to meet the directors and producers of this documentary when I was in California a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, they’re the real deal. Director Matt Barber has worked on shows like Chuck, The OC, and Human Target. Producer Chris Pack has managed production for Bravo, Lifetime, E!, and the History Channel. Producer Brittany Machado is a sociologist from the University of Chicago, whose area of expertise is how young evangelicals form their sexual identity.
From what I can tell, “Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex” may actually give us a funny, nuanced, and diverse look at common evangelical narratives regarding sexuality. Matt and his team plan to feature everyone from pro-abstinence advocates, to gay rights activists, to Christians-turned-atheists, to pastors, to historians, to celibate Christians, to sexually active Christians. They are wading into some sensitive and controversial territory, but based on my interactions with them, they seem up to the task.
“Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex” has raised over $19,000 Kistarter, with just five days left in its campaign, so if you’re interested in making this documentary happen, become a backer. You can check out the Web site here.
4. Letters to a Future Church
What do Peter Rollins, Tim Challies, Makoto Fujimura, Shane Claiborne and I all have in common? We’ve all written letters to the Church in North America. These letters, along with more than twenty more, have been compiled in a book entitled Letters to a Future Church, edited by Chris Lewis and published by Intervarsity Press.
Here’s an excerpt from my letter, “Bigger Banquet Tables”:
“Feeding people means keeping the hungry at arm’s length. It means sending checks now and then, making thanksgiving baskets once a year, preaching about justice, and launching new ministries—all while sitting comfortably at the head of a tiny table, dropping scraps of our abundance to the floor.
Americans are good at feeding people.
But dining with people is an entirely different matter. Dining together means sitting next to one another and brushing arms, passing the bread basket and sharing the artichoke dip. It means double-dipping and spilling drinks, laughing together and crying together, exchanging stories, ideas, recipes and dreams. According to Jesus, it means leaving the seat at the head of the table ceremoniously empty so that all are guests of honor and all are hosts. Dining together isn’t charity; it’s friendship."
An excerpt from Kathy Escobar’s letter, “Actually Living the Truth”:
“To become known as a dignity restorers, you have to humble yourselves and give up all kinds of things you rely on to keep you safe, strong, and protected. You have to let go of being right. You have to dismantle systems that perpetuate inequality, money, power, and control. You have to stop hanging out with people who are just like you. You have to give up making sure you’re the ‘us’ and others not like you are the ‘them.’ You have to lay down your idols of comfort and worldly success.”
An excerpt from Makoto Fujimura’s letter, “Art and Exile”:
“Dear Church – I speak to you as an artist. Our relationship with you has not been easy. Artists are often misfits, dwelling in the margins of your communities. They are often seen in the back pew, if they come to church at all, wearing black. Maybe they look menacing to you.
But many of us, actually, sit in the front. We volunteer and are first to be with the poor. You just don’t notice us. Some of us are even up in front preaching—you call us pastors, but we consider ourselves artists of the Word. Some of us are crusading against the wrongs of the world. We can get the attention of the ‘kings’ of this world because our songs are so popular.
But we artists are often exiled twice: once by the church, and then, because of our faith, by the world..."
To read more, check out the book.
5. Pat Robertson supports legalizing marijuana.
This just seems like something you should know. It certainly made me chuckle.