I recently interviewed the authors of the new book, Slow Church. From the title, I thought this would be a book on radical ecclesiology, dealing with things like church leadership, structure, the clergy-laity dichotomy, the purpose of the church meetings, every-member functioning in the gatherings, expressing Jesus Christ corporately, etc. But it really doesn’t explore those themes. Thus it’s not a book in the same genre as Reimagining Church or The Normal Christian Church Life or Paul’s Idea of Community or 0-58.
What it does do, however, is decry the “industrialized, fast-food approach” to Christianity. Hence, the book is more a discussion on certain values that Christians (they use the word “church” to describe believers in general as well as local communities) should embrace. Some of the chapter titles are ethics, patience, work, Sabbath, gratitude, hospitality, etc. These virtues should be operating in every believer’s life as well as in the local asssemblies of which they are part, say the authors. Christianity shouldn’t be relegated to the privacy of one’s own home. My take on the book is that it’s more missional (focusing on outward witness) than it is ecclesiological. The authors are dead right — modern Christianity is way too fast(food) paced! Slowness is a virtue, just as stillness is.
The book reminded me very much of The New Parish, as it seems to be coming from the same perspective and made many of the same points.
Here’s my interview with Pattison and Smith, the authors, two really nice guys who write very well.[Continue Reading…]