Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Covenant Theological Seminary

I have just returned from teaching part of the D.Min. City Mission and Ministry cohort at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. It was an honor to have been invited and I had HOURS of intense conversation with some ministers earnestly engaged in ministries from Southall, London; Jackson, Mississippi; and Greenwich Village, New York.
On my final day there I made a presentation to the cohort and invited area pastors. I made the case as strongly as I knew how that the Church is only the true church of Christ when it is made up of dissimilar people. That an ecclesiology of Open Friendship is not just a mission strategy for congregations ministering on the margins of a denomination; rather it needs to be an ecclesiology that transforms the other 95% of our churches.
You can listen to my talk here:

to download the audio click here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Murmurs from the Front

It is interesting to me to see my book pop up in blogs and to track its progress. In May, 'Charlie' who is a member of Downtown Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina wrote a detailed review of my book.
Slade’s narratives are rich. . . The characters speak with their own voices, challenging us with their stories. Slade does not cast a script of heroes and villains, but rather of people united in overcoming their own inherited prejudices.
Superbly written and uncommonly perceptive, I highly recommend Open Friendship in a Closed Society. As a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, I was particularly interested in the central roles that First Presbyterian in Jackson and Reformed Theological Seminary played in the pages. Having one branch of my theological heritage analyzed was an uncomfortable but liberating experience. Since the situation in Mississippi is replayed in miniature all across the United States, most Americans will find themselves reflected somewhere in this work.
Meanwhile, in the same month J.R. Caines blogged about being prompted to preach on racial reconciliation after reading it.  From my googling I guess this is the same J.R. Caines who is a Presbyterian minister in Chattanooga, TN.

Outside of PCA circles, an organization in Texas called Friends of Justice picked up on Joe Reiff's article in Christian Century.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lived Theology

I travelled to the University of Virginia in May to take part in the 2011 Spring Institute for Lived Theology. The theme was "Lived Theology in Method, Style and Pedagogy," and Charles Marsh had assembled a wonderful group of scholars (and me) to discuss our work. 

You can find links to audio files of all the papers at the project's website including one to my paper Part of the Body: Reflections on Risks and Responsibilities in the Discipline of Lived Theology.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Few Reviews

My book has received a couple of reviews over the last few months. Back in November, Books & Culture carried a long review by Robert Elder. He also wrote a review in Journal of American Studies.
HomeMore recently, Joseph Reiff wrote a review article which appeared in the March 1 issue of Christian Century. Both men are white southerners, a group notorious for its suspicion of outsiders inflicting their opinions; however, Reiff wrote:
"As a Mississippi exile who grew up in the 1960s in Jackson and served a United Methodist pastor their in the mid-1980s, I can say that though this is, as Slade admits, 'a white Englishman's study of a Christian racial reconciliation movement in Mississippi,' he gets the story remarkably right, with all the nuances."

Taking a Class to Jackson, MS.

In March, I took a group of students from Ashland University down to Jackson, MS, as part of my class   Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. We worked with Voice of Calvary Ministries, met with veterans of the movement and those currently engaged in issues of justice and reconciliation.
We attended a Mission Mississippi prayer breakfast and Dolphus Weary and Neddie Winters both spent time with the group. As the week progressed I discovered that questions I raised in my book about justice and reconciliation have generated some discussion within Voice of Calvary and Mission Mississippi.

Ashland University students with Rev. CJ Rhodes, Mt. Helm Baptist Church, Jackson, MS.

Lecture Series at Covenant College

Back in February, Covenant College invited me to give three lectures based on my book -- two of these were talks in the chapel to the whole student body. This was an exciting opportunity as Covenant College is the undergraduate college of the Presbyterian Church in America: a denomination which gets some attention in my book. I had a wonderful time in meeting with students, faculty, and staff.
Covenant recorded my chapel talks and you can listen to them here.
Talk 1 - Open Friendship
Talk 2 - Race, History and Cultural Captivity

The Christian liberal arts college of the PCA