Blog

Blog

  • August

    28

    2013

    Beyond the Box Interview

    I recently did a podcast interview with Raborn Johnson, from Beyond the Box: “Two guys thinking out loud about life beyond the box of institutional religion.”  We discuss life after Mars Hill, the book, and other things. From their website: “In this episode Shane Hipps joins Ray for a conversation [...]

  • February

    8

    2013

    Was Jesus A Mystic?

    Recently I did a podcast interview on Homebrewed Christianity with Tripp Fuller about my latest book Selling Water by the River.  In the book I suggest that Jesus didn’t come to start a religion.  We had a delightful time discussing all the intricacies of Christianity, Christ, and Spiral Dynamics (a topic I will [...]

  • December

    14

    2012

    Why Christ Doesn’t Need Christianity

    A Huffington Post Article: The long slow decline of religion in America has produced much hand wringing among Christians. The grief and anxiety are inevitable, but not entirely necessary. After all, Jesus didn’t come into this world to start a new religion. His stated purpose was actually to announce the [...]

  • October

    30

    2012

    Zen and the Art of Humility

    I know very little about Zen philosophy.  But what I do know is that they love little sayings called Koans. They are often paradoxical, unpredictable, and inexplicable. These sayings are designed as a kind of technique to set the mind off balance or aside long enough for something beautiful to [...]

  • October

    11

    2012

    Trailer for Selling Water by the River

    Here is a trailer for my new book Selling Water by the River: A Book About the Life Jesus Promised and the Religion that Gets in the Way.  For more info go here.

  • September

    4

    2012

    Less “Goodbye,” More “See You Later”

    My last Sunday at Mars Hill as the teaching pastor was August 19th, 2012. At the time, none of us knew that would be the last time I would teach (for a while anyway). The following Tuesday the Elders voted to call Kent Dobson as the new Teaching Pastor.  While [...]

  • August

    7

    2012

    Animate: Shifting the Frames

    In a previous post I talked about my involvement in a video curriculum project called Animate.  I recently got the finished product in the mail and was really impressed.   There is not a lot of good curriculum out there for churches.  This is an exception Spark House did an [...]

  • July

    10

    2012

    How To Find Your Purpose 2-Day Intensive

    Come and join us in Grand Rapids in October. The city will just have exploded with ArtPrize exhibits. This workshop for people wanting to live with greater clarity in life. You will learn tools and techniques that cultivate deeper ways of making decisions. It’s about discovering who we are, who [...]

  • June

    2

    2012

    How to Find Your Purpose Event

    I’ll be doing a free one-hour presentation, including time for Q & A.  It’s a guided tour of the interior, un-mappable, and counter-intuitive terrain of finding our purpose.  For those who joined me a few months ago for this class, it will be familiar but I’ve added some new material. We [...]

  • May

    27

    2012

    Dear Mars Hill

    There is a story in the book of Genesis about a man named Jacob who wrestled with God by the side of a river all through the night. In the end, God popped his hip out of joint and gave him a new name– Israel.  I have had much in [...]

  • May

    4

    2012

    “Animate” Adult Ed Series Preview

    In December of last year, Spark House flew a group of Christian leaders to Minneapolis to begin work on a new adult ed video curriculum called “Animate.”  They suggested a topic for each of us, and we were tasked with developing an eight minute script to be filmed. My topic was [...]

  • April

    30

    2012

    Speaking at Willow Creek

    For anyone living in the Chicago area, I’ll be teaching at Willow Creek this Wednesday, May 2nd at their Midweek Experience. The passage I’ll be speaking on is from John 14 where Jesus promises to send the disciples the Holy Spirit. This is a fascinating passage.  We’ll unpack what Jesus means [...]

  • March

    19

    2012

    Speaking in Hawaii

    I will be speaking at the Hawaii Island Ministries conference in Honolulu March 22nd – 25th.  If you’re in the area stop by and say hello. Some of you may be experiencing some jealousy upon reading this.  There is no reason to.  First of all, it is a very long [...]

  • February

    7

    2012

    The Summer of Love

    Last Spring Rob Bell and I were looking for something we hadn’t done before.  We agreed to do a series on the book of 1 John. A book neither of us had ever preached through before.  Seemed simple enough, but along the way we made a surprising number of discoveries. [...]

  • January

    25

    2012

    How to Find Your Purpose

    We are all here for a reason. We each have a purpose which is unique to us. Our particular blend of passions, talents, limits, and resources all point to our unique calling.  Finding and living from that purpose is one of our tasks in life. This Sunday night at Mars [...]

  • January

    9

    2012

    Reflections on Rob Bell’s Departure

    Yesterday, we had a final service to send Rob Bell into his next calling.  It was a beautiful service the team put together with some incredible moments (thank you Dave Livermore). A number of people over the last few months have been asking how I’m doing since the announcement that [...]

  • December

    27

    2011

    The Soul to Solitude Retires

    “Now the New Year reviving old Desires, The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires, Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.” Omar Khayyam This poem from the great Persian mystic and mathematician seemed appropriate with the approach of the New Year. [...]

  • December

    24

    2011

    Immanuel and the Eye

    In the book of Matthew an angel visits Mary and Joseph and says “you will have a son and you should call him Jesus.” Then Matthew says “this was done to fulfill what the prophet said ‘she shall give birth to a child and he shall be called ‘Immanuel’” So [...]

  • December

    14

    2011

    Pale Sunlight

    For those weary and full of grief, Rumi offers that which is simple and true. “Pale sunlight pale the wall. Love moves away. The light changes. I need more grace than I thought.” The Grace he speaks of is inexhaustible. And so is my need for it.

  • December

    13

    2011

    But I Trusted You

    When someone is going through a rough time, sometimes you’ll hear the phrase “just trust God.” Or perhaps someone you love does something that hurts you. We might respond with the statement “But I trusted you, why would you betray my trust.” It’s an interesting statement, there is an assumption [...]

  • November

    30

    2011

    The Highest and Hardest Virtue

    In 1958, Kornelius Isaak and two other followers of Jesus living in Paraguay, set out to make contact with the Moro Indians who had been murdering various outsiders for years.  These three felt that making peace would show them the love of Jesus.  They had already done so with other tribes [...]

  • November

    23

    2011

    Does God Suffer Like Us?

    I saw a documentary not long ago about interrogation techniques.  One of them was to use sleep depravation.  They found that it breaks down defense mechanisms and causes people to become more emotional. The subjects, without ever being physically harmed experienced it as torture. I discovered the truth of this [...]

  • November

    20

    2011

    Is Facebook Killing Our Souls? (Full Version)

    (Published in September/October 2010 issue of Relevant Magazine) If you make it to the end of this article, you are an impressive and rare breed of human—an intellectual Navy SEAL, an elite mind, trained with an ability most people just don’t have anymore—the ability to sustain mental concentration over long periods [...]

  • October

    27

    2011

    Grace and The Tree of Life

    I recently saw The Tree of Life written and directed by Terrance Malick. It’s more impressionist painting than film, but I was completely taken with it.  As I walked out of the theater, the usher could tell I was stunned.  He told me people walk out of that movie either [...]

  • October

    3

    2011

    Words Create Worlds

    This time of year in Grand Rapids, there is a fantastic event called Art Prize.  An open art competition that turns the entire city into a museum for a few months.  Artists from all over the world submit pieces.  This year, one in the Diocese of Grand Rapids caught my [...]

  • September

    14

    2011

    Heaven, Hell, and the One Who Knows

    There is a lot of talk these days about heaven and hell. Recently a handful of best-selling books have been published on this topic (23 Minutes in Hell, Erasing Hell, Heaven is for Real, God Wins). Some of these are in direct response to Rob Bell’s book Love Wins (incidentally [...]

  • September

    13

    2011

    New Website Launch

    I’m very excited to be launching my completely redesigned website.  I hope you find it simple and easy to use.  Most of it is straightforward. But the feature I’m most excited about, and certainly the most labor intensive to create, is the teachings page.  I spent eight months gathering, rereading, [...]

  • September

    2

    2011

    TV vs. Film

    In the video interview with Rob Bell below, I reference research that has been done on the difference between two different screen technologies: 1. Rear projection technology: light passes through a screen on it’s way to the viewer (i.e. TV) 2. Front projection technology: light reflects off a screen from [...]

  • August

    10

    2011

    Q Conference DVD

    In 2009, I spoke at the Q conference in Austin.  I did a presentation called the “Spirituality of the Cellphone.” That presentation, along with three others (by Phyllis Tickle, Andy Crouch, and Matthew Sleeth), was filmed and turned into a video curriculum by Q Group Studies called “Staying Grounded: Restoring [...]

  • August

    9

    2011

    My Top 5 Books on Technology

    Christianity Today asked me to share with their readers my Top 5 Books on Technology. Which I did here Admittedly these are hardly pop books written for the masses, but they have been my source material for many years. I’ve gone back repeatedly to deepen my understandaing. Perhaps most interesting [...]

  • February

    28

    2010

    Mars Hill Start Date

    This past Sunday was my first official Sunday as a Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. I got a chance to kick off the season of Lent. Rob and I will be preaching through the book of Jonah. If you want to follow along you [...]

  • October

    10

    2009

    Ever Changing, Never Changing

    Just returned from speaking at Catalyst in Atlanta. It was a great experience and a wonderful crowd. They were surprisingly responsive to a very challenging message. At the request of the organizers I spoke about how “the medium is the message,” (surprise) and I challenged the prevailing notion that “the [...]

  • August

    19

    2009

    National Youth Workers Convention

    I’ll be in LA on September 25th speaking at the National Youth Workers Convention. Stop by if you’re in the area.

  • July

    15

    2009

    Three Bodies

    I recently returned from the Poets, Prophets, and Preachers conference. It was a fantastic experience. Rob did an amazing job of setting an elegant table for some really stimulating presentations. Pete Rollins and I were invited to join him, which was an honor and a joy. I loved meeting Pete. [...]

  • May

    6

    2009

    From the Printing Press to the iPhone

    Shane Hipps urges Christians to discern the technology spirits. Interview by Mark Galli Shane Hipps was a former strategic planner in advertising, and is now a Pastor. In both vocations, he has learned a great deal about how technology quietly shapes people, for good and for ill. His latest book, [...]

  • May

    1

    2009

    Poets, Prophets, and Preachers

    I’ll be speaking at this conference put on by Rob Bell July 5-7 of this year. Pete Rollins will also be there. These are both superb thinkers, I’m delighted to get a chance to present but equally thrilled to sit in the audience and be enlightened. I’ve never met Pete, [...]

  • May

    1

    2009

    Q Conference Austin

    I just returned from speaking at Q in Austin, TX. As always it was a first class event. Gabe Lyons never ceases to amaze me in his ability to bring together such a fascinating and eclectic mix of leaders, thinkers, and participants. One minute I’m in a conversation with George [...]

  • March

    12

    2009

    Rob Bell Interview at NPC

    from Deadly Viper on Vimeo.

  • February

    27

    2009

    Shane Hipps on “Virtual Community”…Again

    Connecting online has value, just not as much as we think. This conversation got started with a short video of Shane Hipps at the National Pastors Convention discussing whether online community was really community. Scot McKnight posted his response a few days later. Earlier this week, Anne Jackson joined the [...]

  • February

    26

    2009

    “Virtual Community” Again

    This was originally written for OutofUr.com in response to Scott McKnight’s critique of the video interview I did at the National Pastor’s Convention. Anne Jackson also offered her insights on the issue here Scott et. al, thanks for all your comments and push back. Always appreciated. Clearly we’re playing with [...]

  • February

    17

    2009

    “Virtual Community”

    Shane Hipps and Zach Lind Discuss Virtual Community. from Zach Lind on Vimeo. Last week at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego Shane Hipps sat down for a brief conversation with Christianity Today to discuss the concept of “virtual community.” You can view the video here. As a result [...]

  • February

    10

    2009

    The Launch

    Last Sunday we did a launch for my new book, Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith at Trinity. Zondervan, my publisher, was kind enough to give me a couple hundred extra author copies which we’re donating to the church. We still have some left, so if you’re an attender/member/visitor, [...]

  • February

    5

    2009

    Archive Episode #11: Missing the Power Point part 1

    Zach and I talk about how PowerPoint is a misunderstood medium. You can get the episode here for free. The links as promised in the episode: 1. The Gettysburg Address in original form 2. The Gettysburg Address done as a PowerPoint. Hilarious. Great moments in PowerPoint.

  • February

    2

    2009

    Flickering Pixels

    My new book is out this month.  It is the story of how our technologies shape us in unexpected ways without our permission or knowledge.  Available now at Amazon and other retailers. For those who read my first book, The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, some of the themes will [...]

  • January

    17

    2009

    Traveling to EMU

    I’ll be the keynote speaker for The School of Leadership Training put on by Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg Virginia January 19th-22nd. I’ll also be doing a public presentation on Tuesday the 20th at 7pm. Stop by if you’re in the area.

  • October

    30

    2008

    New Third Way Faith Episodes

    Greetings all, As you may have noticed, Shane and I haven’t been podcasting at all lately. I’ve been busy on the road and Shane has been busy pastoring at Trinity Mennonite Church. But as luck would have it, we found some lost episodes deep in the dusty vault in the [...]

  • May

    22

    2008

    Fermi Podcast

    Gabe Lyons recently interviewed me for his Fermi Project podcast. There’s also a link there to an essay I wrote for them called “Our Nomadic Existence.”

  • April

    22

    2008

    Lost in Translation

    On a recent comment Russell asks: I can imagine that there’s a huge leap between Porsche culture and Mennonite culture, but does any of what they do still stick with you and inspire you today? This is one of my most frequently asked questions. So I thought I would answer [...]

  • April

    4

    2008

    Zach on Leno

    My podcasting cohost and good friend Zach Lind also happens to be the drummer for Jimmy Eat World. He’s going to be playing on Leno this Monday. Should be fun. Check it out.

  • April

    1

    2008

    The Spirituality of the Cellphone

    I just returned from teaching at Mars Hill. It was incredible. What amazed me the most was the capacity of that many people (maybe 8,000 all told) to engage a 45 minute teaching on “The Spirituality of the Cellphone.” Mind you, this included material not often found in the pulpit–you [...]

  • March

    15

    2008

    Mars Hill and Q

    I’ll be preaching at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, MI on March 30th, and then doing a workshop on my book for their staff and some area pastors Monday March 31st. If you’re in the neighborhood drop by. Also, April 10 and 11 I’m speaking at Q in Manhattan.

  • February

    12

    2008

    Podcast Pause

    I’ve had a number of emails wondering when the next podcast will be available. Thanks for the interest. We’ve had some technical difficulties that should be resolved very soon. Zach and I have several in the can which focus on the Media Ecology of Political Campaigns. They will be posted [...]

  • January

    23

    2008

    February Speaking

    I’ll be in the following locations in February. If you’re in the neighborhood and would like to connect let me know. – Feb 1 & 2 Keynote Mennonite Educators Conference 2008. Pittsburgh, PA- Feb. 25-26 Staley Lectures at Bethel College. North Newton, KS

  • December

    22

    2007

    Show Notes: Smoking Cell Phones

    In this episode I interview Read Mercer Schuchardt, professor of Media Ecology at Wheaton College, a good friend, brilliant mind, and publisher of metaphilm.com– a site that doesn’t review films, it interprets them. (I did an interpretation posted there a number of years ago on the film Magnolia for those [...]

  • September

    6

    2007

    Show Notes: Social Networking (part 3)

    In this episode we explore how myspace is the new drinking for teens. We discuss the implications of this on faith formation. Links: IMing, Text Messaging, and Adolescent Social Network – A Study by the Department of Telecommunications of Indiana University. It shows more than anything else that myspace is [...]

  • September

    6

    2007

    Show Notes: Social Networking (part 2)

    In this episode Shane and Zach discuss how Myspace has emerged as new source of power for teens and how Adults are losing access to their world in unprecedented ways. Links: Generation Myspace by Candice Kelsey: For help to decode the new language of the teen universe.

  • August

    23

    2007

    Fall Speaking

    >Here are my upcoming speaking engagements for the fall. If your in the neighborhood let me know if you want to connect. – September 24-29 Goshen, IN Goshen College- October 21 San Diego, CA National Youth Workers Convention- November 2-3 Philadelphia area “Navigating the Technological Storm”

  • August

    9

    2007

    Show Notes: Creative Worship

    >In this episode we discuss our favorite “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” worship songs. Links:Jimmy Eat World studio photos. Our new podcast headquarters! To subscribe visit LeadershipBuzz.com

  • August

    7

    2007

    Show Notes: Understanding Web Rage

    > You’ve heard of road rage, in this episode we introduce the emerging phenomenon of Web Rage. Perhaps you’ve witnessed, or participated in the remarkable decline of civil discourse in on-line forums and blogs– even Christian ones. We discuss why this is happening, and what to do about it. Links: [...]

  • August

    6

    2007

    The Tech Effect

    >Last year I served on a panel discussion at the National Pastor’s Convention about preaching in an image-based culture. Leadership Journal published this conversation in their most recent issue. It’s available on-line here.

  • August

    2

    2007

    Faith Visuals Interview (part 2)

    Part 2 of the of the interview I did with Faith Visuals on the influence of visual media in church is posted here. You can read part 1 here. Or if you prefer a different forum, Out of Ur just posted it as well.

  • August

    2

    2007

    “…Not Confused with Passivism”

    >We just got word that Kristin Ventola, a member of our church, made it safely into Israel. She will be there, along with 14 others, for two weeks as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) delegation. CPT is not a learning group, they are sent to global hot spots [...]

  • July

    19

    2007

    Show Notes: The iGeneration

    In this episode we discuss the rise of iPods, iPhones, Myspace, Myyahoo and everything else “i” and “my”. The consequence? We are seeing a corresponding rise of narcissism in the emerging generation. We try to answer the question how do we form followers of Jesus in a self-focused culture? Links: [...]

  • July

    14

    2007

    Episode #25: Tony Jones Interview (part 4)

    >This episode is part 4 of a 5 part interview I did with Tony Jones, author of many great books, my good friend, and the Mayor of Emergent Village. In this episode we explore the shape of emerging theology on the other side of its adolescence. To learn more about [...]

  • July

    13

    2007

    Move Over iPhone…

    >Sent to me via email by my good friend Read Mercer Schuchardt, publisher of Metaphilm.com I will be interviewing Read in an upcoming cast. Apple Computers announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play music in women’s breast implants. The iBoob will cost between [...]

  • July

    10

    2007

    Episode #20: Electronic Education (Part 2)

    In this episode we respond to a listeners email question. He wonders what the future of seminary education is in the electronic age. (19 minutes)

  • July

    9

    2007

    Episode #2: The Medium is the Message

    In this episode from the archive we explore a key theme of my book– The Medium is the Message. I hope this famous aphorism of Marshall McLuhan will rudder our thinking through a liquid culture. (17 minutes)

  • July

    7

    2007

    Back from San Jose

    I just returned from the biennial Mennonite Church USA Convention held in San Jose, CA. I had the honor and privilege of speaking to nearly 2000 Mennonites. It was incredible to worship with them and have a chance to share my gratitude for their heritage and contribution to the church. [...]

  • July

    7

    2007

    Faith Visuals Interview

    >I did an interview about the power of images and multimedia with Faith Visuals here.

  • July

    5

    2007

    A Conversation with Shane Hipps, Part 1

    Understanding how visual media influences us. Interview by Ryan Hamm We recently had the chance to chat with Shane Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture (and a FaithVisuals.com consulting editor). We talked about the importance of understanding how electronic media works, Marshall McLuhan’s four laws of media, [...]

  • June

    30

    2007

    Episode #10: Iconic Faith (part 2)

    This episode is the second part of four we did on the shaping effects of iconic culture on faith. (16 minutes)

  • June

    25

    2007

    Hidden Power Excerpt

    >Leadership Journal published an excerpt from my book in their most recent issue regarding the role of lament in worship. It is now available on-line here.

  • June

    21

    2007

    Show Notes: Nonviolent Conflict

    In this episode Shane shares some helpful insights on how to embrace and resolve conflict nonviolently. Links: 1. Agreeing and Disagreeing In Love a Mennonite covenant for conflict in the church used in Shane’s book and referenced in the cast. 2. The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is a phenomenal resource [...]

  • June

    15

    2007

    Show Notes: The Tribe of Individuals (Part 2)

    In this episode Shane and Zach continue to discuss the paradox of the “tribe of individuals” that we find ourselves in today. Shane highlights a few ways in which we can begin to overcome the challenges paradox brings to followers of Jesus today. Links: 1. Golden Sun Peace Ministries – [...]

  • April

    1

    2007

    Praise That’s Premature?

    Do we praise too soon? I scanned the congregation as we finished our third song extolling the wonders of God and our joy for all God has done. As we started the fourth song with the same spirit of energetic celebration, I glimpsed a friend, sitting in the back, who [...]