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Tag: books

Ian in Vancouver

Thanks to all who participated in the day we did today on the “becoming of G-d”. I am very glad that so many people found it so helpful, and that what we covered with continue in dialogue in the Anglican Diocese and beyond regarding “Emerging Church”.

As we discussed, St Martins will be stocking copies of my books, particularly the second. Copies are now available for $20 CAN so if interested, please do contact Jeremy at St Martins Church, North Vancouver BC. He is happy to send copies to interested people in Canada & North America. Click here to send Jeremy an email to request a copy.

So thanks Vancouver, it has been a joy to explore Trinitarian mysticism and exploring new ways of being church with you.

POSTED 29.06.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Entertainment Theology by Barry Taylor

Whilst I have been travelling around in the US & Canada on my own book tour, I have been reading Barry Taylor’s new book called Entertainment Theology.It is a very long time since a theology book affected me as much as post-evangelical, but this one just has. It is timely as it picks up some of the questions I do not answer in my own book the becoming of G-d, and runs to the issues and questions of what a post-secular and post-patriarchal form of Christian Spirituality looks like. It is packed full of issues that are important to be faced, many I think that relate to our proposed to move (Moot Community) to our new context.

Several quotes have stuck with me. I will keep my thoughts to myself at the moment about most of this, as I am still reflecting on its consequences for me. I will also be interviewing Barry about the book on the emergingchurch.info site. He quotes Glenn Frey a musician who said: The Problem with Christians is that they’ve put a padlock on paradise and lost Jesus in a bunch of bad songs.

This book is about attending to the Spirit in a new age of mission, for which I think he puts it so well.
I think mission might be the journey of Christians into all the world to discover the liberating mission of Jesus in transforming encounter with others, and discovery is almost always the result of adventure, creativity and risk.

If you like this stuff check out comments on Pete Rollins blog which has covered some of this ground here

POSTED 26.06.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Entertainment Theology by Barry Taylor

Affluenza and Addicted to Love

Without deliberately wanting to embarrass Mike & Clare, I just wanted to point out that I think Moot is entering a new phase when we again consider the question “How should we live?” which we entered when we created our Rhythm of Life drawing on the wisdom of the Monastics. This requires us to consider how we live in contemporary culture but not of the darker sides of culture. Or put another way, where are we called to affirm the good things within culture and where are we called to be counter-cultural about the things that impair healthy living and being.

One of the important areas of being counter-cultural – is the whole issue of naming addiction that arises out of a life strategy dependent on consumption and the desire for affluence. Both Clare’s book, and the book Mike has recommended us to read as a community in June, not only name these addictions, but taken together, challenge us to face our Rhythm of Life elements of Balance and Presence for a start, and then into all the other elements. Clare’s book ‘Addicted to Love’ tells her story, and the place of Moot within it. She names the patterns of addiction she has experienced alongside God’s grace in loving her and not shaming her towards her own human becoming. Affluenza, the book Mike has suggested, takes this further, and re-evaluates the pressures on us in Western postmodern culture, and names how affluence when gained, does little more than create more stress and unhappiness.

So if you are in Moot, do consider getting both these books, and we will be reading Affluenza together for June. If you have not got a copy yet, click here and Moot get’s some money against every sale. Personally, I am very grateful for the input Mike & Clare bring to our community, which is at one level very challenging and at another, incredibly encouraging and loving – with a sense of humour!! Our community would be severely impoverished without either of them.

So we will be discussing this together in the new term, and the implications not only for ourselves, but for the health of our community. See the website for the term May to Aug 08.

POSTED 07.05.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Affluenza and Addicted to Love

Spirituality for the Twenty First Century

I had the good fortune to catch up with my good friend Barry Taylor today in London as he passed through. He has always inspired me, ever since we met at an event at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. This time in our explorations over a coffee, we explored the issue of spirituality coming out of a digital and technological age. Some know that I am considering starting a PhD in this area, and I was really encouraged to hear that others are pashed up about it as well. In fact, Barry, who is always miles ahead of my thinking, has already written a book on it, which I have ordered – which looks at the whole issue of spirituality being driven by deep things within contemporary culture. It is called Entertainment Theology. I am still reflecting on the conversation, how spirituality has become the new religion, and yet, we don’t really know yet what people mean by spirituality. It is still emerging.

I am hoping that in my book tour of the States and Canada in June, that I will be dropping in to LA to do some work with Barry, as it is always a pleasure

POSTED 03.05.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (9)

Affluenza

Those of you who know me will have heard me raving about the book “Affluenza” by Oliver James a lot lately.

Affluenza is about how deeply contemporary life in the English speaking world revolves around the notion of what James calls “Selfish Capitalism” – an economic system that is geared towards unhealthy attitudes to money, status and influence, and that affects how we see each other and how we see ourselves. The problem, as James brilliantly defines it, is that the impact on us as human beings is immense in terms of emotional distress – addiction, depression and anxiety.

It affects how we live, how we think about life, how we think about each other, how we divide up our time, what we do with our money, how we raise our kids, our education system, what and when we buy property, etc., etc., He cleverly and incisively shows the reader how the values that we have adopted without thinking are often dictated by these things more than anyone else.

Looking at it as a phenomena that particularly affects the English speaking world, he interviews various people from England, USA, Australia and New Zealand, whilst also interviewing people from different backgrounds to compare and contrast non-English speaking nations that have caught the “Affluenza bug” (Singapore), nations that are well on their way to catching it (Russia and China), and nations that don’t appear to have it at all (Denmark).

I think this is very relevant for us as a community as a topic for discussion (and not just because it would appear statistically that a belief in God is a good way to cope with our overly Selfish Capitalist society).

Whilst I would disagree with James on many things, I believe the book would be an extremely useful diagnostic tool, in helping us to live out the idea of Balance, as expressed in our Rhythm of Life, as well as identifying possible coping mechanisms for depression, addiction and anxiety. This is something that I have observed us as a community (myself in particular) struggling with, and to that end we will be taking Affluenza as a theme for a month in the new term’s programme.

Also, in order to spark discussion I will blog again about this subject, making it a regular series here. If you want to get ahead and follow me, especially as we are going to make the book into a theme as part of our regular meetings, then get a copy through the link to the right of this page (scroll down, just below “Friends of Moot” section – buying it through us helps moot because a proportion of the cost goes to help fund moot’s work.

Enjoy reading…

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POSTED 26.03.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Affluenza

New Forthcoming Book: The Becoming of G-d

Pleased to say that after quite a gruelling process, my first book is well on the way to being published. The full title is:

The Becoming of G-d: What the Trinitarian nature of God has to do with Church and a deep Spirituality for the Twenty First Century

In this book I have taken the concepts of my first book on the practice of emerging and fresh expressions of Church, and explored them in more detail and in wider application. I explore how a deeper understanding of the Trinity birthed through the early Cappadocian Church writers helps us reimagine the nature of God through a more apophatic reading. Further, I explore how the Church is called to reflect this nature of God in its form and function. In this way the Western Church is freed from its limited understanding of the Trinity, (the unfortunate Achilles heel of St Augustine’s interpretation) releasing the Church to be more pioneering, fresh and engaging through a better understanding of the Trinity, and in particular, the person of the Holy Spirit.

As G-d becomes as a continuing event through human history this God reframes who we are and what Church is called to be. We are all on a journey of ‘individual human-becoming’ and the Church as a ‘transformative event of God’s love and action’. In this way we have rediscovered an ancient:future expression of the Christian faith and church in an Age of New Mysticism.

I particularly explore the high view of ‘community’ held in emerging churches, in an age where being in community is hard to sustain and counter cultural. In fact many do not have the interpersonal skills to choose to live this way even if they wanted to. I therefore address how many emerging churches border on being therapeutic communities for the humanisation of its members inspired by a God who models loving interdependence.

The book also includes images, poems, stories and reflections by contributors from the Emerging Church in the UK, Ireland and the USA including work by our own Michael L Radcliffe and Moot friend Padraig Twomey. The book is to be published by YTC Press in Cambridge, and all proceeds go towards the work of Moot. I will be promoting the book on a tour of the US and Canada in June that looks to be including:

– New York, Buffalo, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver

The book will be available for order soon in the US & UK through YTC Press.

POSTED 29.02.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (3)

new book about justice and christianity

The new book by Emma Kennedy, Justice and the Heart of God (Lion Hudson), can be pre-ordered from the link above. It looks like a great resource for small groups or mini-moots, having a series of ten well researched studies addressing issues of great significance in contemporary society, such justice, climate change, gender, debt, refugee’s, aid and trade.

Did I mention that Emma is my sister?!


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POSTED 31.01.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Shane Claibourne's Irresistable Revolution: Challenge 2

Claibourne Challenge 2: Living in a theology of abundance
Continuing with my exploration of the application of Claibournes writing – click here for the first reflection. I want next to explore his ideas of abundance with the idea we have been exploring this month in Moot – the idea of ‘sufficiency’.

Claibourne talks about the idea of communities of justice seeking the common good, and that when you live this way – you can receive abundantly from people – in away you could not – if caught in the individualistic pursuit of consumption. I like this idea a lot – but it requires a community to really practice generosity with money. I don’t think there are many emerging churches that are generous with money – partly because they are made up of people who are bright and broke – but I still think we have a long way to go – to be more open with money and offer the little we have. I am trying to live this way – and balance the need to be a good steward with a shared purse. I hope that Moot can learn to practice its generosity more – so that we can create funds to really help people and Moot develop. We have not established this yet.

This way of living is so counter-cultural that it requires a real focus to live this way, and challenges individualism. I love the stories in Claibourne’s book about how people pooled money and posessions as an expression of love – that really got me. So I think this idea of receiving abundance (not to be confused with the prosperity gospel about being faithful and then God provides), out of an attitude of generosity in giving coming out of an attitude of sufficiency – is key to Moot growing into its rhythm of life.

As an end note – I was really impressed about the story of Cred Jewellery – which were a bunch of Christians who set up a company to sell jewellery – but with real ethics about fair trade and supporting ethical and justice orientated approaches to diamonds and the rest to counter a trade based on oppression and exploitation – click the link to see their story.

So a theology of abundance attends seriously to Christ’s sermon on the mount about how we should live, and takes economic matters as community seriously. And seeks to build the common good.

POSTED 17.11.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Shane Claibourne’s Irresistable Revolution: Challenge 2

Claibourne Challenge 2: Living in a theology of abundance
Continuing with my exploration of the application of Claibournes writing – click here for the first reflection. I want next to explore his ideas of abundance with the idea we have been exploring this month in Moot – the idea of ‘sufficiency’.

Claibourne talks about the idea of communities of justice seeking the common good, and that when you live this way – you can receive abundantly from people – in away you could not – if caught in the individualistic pursuit of consumption. I like this idea a lot – but it requires a community to really practice generosity with money. I don’t think there are many emerging churches that are generous with money – partly because they are made up of people who are bright and broke – but I still think we have a long way to go – to be more open with money and offer the little we have. I am trying to live this way – and balance the need to be a good steward with a shared purse. I hope that Moot can learn to practice its generosity more – so that we can create funds to really help people and Moot develop. We have not established this yet.

This way of living is so counter-cultural that it requires a real focus to live this way, and challenges individualism. I love the stories in Claibourne’s book about how people pooled money and posessions as an expression of love – that really got me. So I think this idea of receiving abundance (not to be confused with the prosperity gospel about being faithful and then God provides), out of an attitude of generosity in giving coming out of an attitude of sufficiency – is key to Moot growing into its rhythm of life.

As an end note – I was really impressed about the story of Cred Jewellery – which were a bunch of Christians who set up a company to sell jewellery – but with real ethics about fair trade and supporting ethical and justice orientated approaches to diamonds and the rest to counter a trade based on oppression and exploitation – click the link to see their story.

So a theology of abundance attends seriously to Christ’s sermon on the mount about how we should live, and takes economic matters as community seriously. And seeks to build the common good.

POSTED 17.11.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray

I was rather chuffed to pick up a copy of a little booklet at Greenbelt for a mere two quid: Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray by the late Simon Bailey. As the title suggest it is a series of meditations based around familiar places, some obvious, other not so:

• In a church: Porch, door, font, space, nave, window, arch, organ, pulpit and lectern, altar, dark corner, behind the curtain, box for gifts, prayer board, anywhere, churchyard, spire/tower/cross and outside.
• In your home
: Door, living room, kitchen, dining room, stairs, bathroom and bedroom.
• In your town/city/village:
road, shop, pub, town hall, park, school, church, hospital, gutter, telephone box, factory and station.
• In your body
: Your ears, your eyes, your mouth, your insides, your feet, your hands and your mind.

Each meditation follows a simple structure:

1. description of the place

2. words to pray

3. words to think about

4. someone to pray for

Beautiful. The booklet is available from Cairns Publications who also appear to do a whole range of other stuff that may be worth looking at including other prayer resources. Interestingly they also have a Small Pilgrim Places project encouraging a network of places as ‘breathing spaces’ for prayer and meditation.

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POSTED 01.11.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray