Where I’ve been – Where I’m going

Hopefully you noticed the new design of what was “the Great Giveaway” blog. I changed the the blog to reflect that the conversations here will no longer be centered around the book, the Great Giveaway, (the blog had long since moved on) but upon the wider issues of missional church, pomo, evangelicalism and the struggles of pastoring in these times. If you are a regular here, please note the change in web address. We’re hoping to get an RSS feed or something on the blog to help those interested in staying connected to the blog. It will take some time to get the other features up and running. I only blog once a week, and I continue to plan on keeping to that schedule on the topics listed above. The posts are mostly out of my reading, research, and conversations I’m having with missional pastors and thinkers. I owe the new blog look to the wonderful work of Nathan Colquhoun and Pernell Goodyear who introduced me to Nathan. All I can say is thanks and I owe you man, although Christian friends aren’t allowed to reciprocate acts of such kindness in a “transactional” manner.

As the archives reveal, November marks a whole year that I have been blogging but that hardly tells the story of where I’ve been these past twelve months. For these past twelve months have been filled with blessings no one in their right mind could have ever imagined.

For starters, in this past year, I have seen our church grow missionally in ways I did not foresee. It didn’t always make everyone happy. And so it’s been a year of growth with plenty of tumult to go with it. New ands amazing leadership has emerged. I am going to be more focused on preaching and leading the direction of the church, reducing my load while increasing my vigor for God’s work at Life on the Vine, a truly amazing community of Christ in the W suburbs.

In this past year, I published a book, the Great Giveaway, which I really thought only my mom and my wife would read. God has blessed it. The notes, e-mails, I have received from all around N. America have been humbling, and the friends I have made all over N. America have been absolutely stunning. I have learned so much from so many in one short year’s time.

In this past year, I had a bit of a health scare. Everything’s good now. But I came home from Russia and was doing radio interviews, trying to earn money on the side for our adoption, handling a growing little church and … man… the body gave out. It was a time of challenge and self-examination.

In this past year, I was asked to submit application for the B R Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary, a place I have taught at and cherished for years. And God blessed me with the position. I embark on this starting January 1.

In this past year, I have traveled and made presentations on various issues facing the churches of N America. I have been present with pastors, with emerging church leaders, with para church organizational leaders, on campus with seminary students. To list some highlights, in March I was at Forum for Evangelical Theology at Garret Evangelical, in April I was at the Conference on Christianity and Consumerism (although my podcast burned up) in Minneapolis, in May I was at the Freeway Cafe (Emerging Church Mecca of Canada)speaking at the Resonate Echo event in Hamilton Ontario, in July I was at C&MA General Assembly speaking twice in Edmonton, I presented at Emergent Canada in Edmonton that same week, I was at the Theology and Culture Think Tank at Minneapolis in Sept, I also presented at the Foursquare Great Lakes pastor’s conference also in Minneapolis in September. These highlights don’t even begin to summarize the tons of conversations I had with missional pastors, friends, leaders. The changes in leadership in the church is truly seismic.

As I said, in this past year the book, the Great Giveaway, came out and was reviewed well. Highlights were Jordon Cooper, Scott McKnight, Darryl Dash, Len Hjalmarson, Richard Vincent, Precipice Mag, Christianity Today, Brian Houghtaling, Christian BookPreviews, There were many more not available any longer througfh a link. Thanks especially to all the bloggers. I owe a great debt to all of you.

Lastly, in this past year, we received our first child into our home .. wow… what a precious gift God sent into our lives. We went to Russia, and adopted Max (whole name is “Elmer Maxim”). I just could have never dreamed this journey would be so rich. My wife Rae Ann is an awesome mom.

In this coming year, I hope to post more regularly, once a week if not more. I hope to use this blog here for more conversations. I am going to vigorously combine my teaching at Seminary with pastoring. I am working on developing a missional church Think-Tank. And I am working on a new book entitled “These Kinds of People: Evangelical Fundamentalism and the Moral Life – How we got to be these kinds of people and where we go from here.” It is a character and virtues analysis of evangelicalism in terms of its doctrine and practices. What kinds of character has it produced? How does the world view evangelicalism? What kind of people need we be to reflect the gospel in our politics, our economics and our sexuality? I am combining some of my most instinctive allegiances to Hauerwas, McIntyre, Yoder, Milbank, and others with some of the political cultural theorists of the Continent I have been delving into – Zizek and Badiou among others. This is the book I have long wanted to write. It will take me three years to cover much needed academic territory as well as make it readable to those of us who seek a reinvigoration of the ecclesiological life, practice and witness and spiritual transformation of what’s left of evangelicalism in N. America.

Thanks for reading this past year. Thanks to those who comment!!! I hope to be much more involved as the whirlwind of the past twelve months has settled into a quiet storm.

Blessings … David Fitch

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