Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Loud Time Endorses: Burnside Writers Collective

Call me self-serving, but I'm a fan of Burnside Writers Collective, an online venture with its origins in the Pacific Northwest but now with contributors across the United States. Very creative writing dealing (mostly) responsibly with matters (mostly) important to (mostly) thoughtful Christians. I've been a fan for years, as evidenced by the link in my sidebar that still, for the time being at least, takes you to the old site. (Give it a few seconds and it'll reroute you.) But the Collective launched its dramatically overhauled website recently, and (here's the self-serving part) as of today it includes my regular column "Becoming the Great Us."

This column, inspired by a song in my head and propelled forward by the conversation profiled in the first entry, "The Freak Show We Find Ourselves In," picks up where my book Deliver Us from Me-Ville leaves off, I like to think. One legitimate critique I heard more than once was that, for a book ostensibly about getting past self-centeredness, the focus seemed to remain on the individual self. In my defense, I think my critics stopped reading the book before they got to the "community" chapter, but I concede the point that there's much more to be said about the dynamics of on-again, off-again repentant narcissists being brought together and shaped into a single body, or temple, or other biblical image for community. This notion of "Becoming the Great Us" has become, for a while at least, the project that most inspires me; I'm reading incredible books about life together and having incredible conversations about the same. If the concept stirs your imagination, please do contact me; my voice in this conversation is far more representative than authoritative, so I'd be glad to pass on your stories and ideas in the space BWC has given me.

Some other recent favorites you'll find at Burnside:

*Editorial ruminations on dirty words, creative writing and theological seriousness.
*A report on the dilemma of listening to the Beatles and other masterful recordings on earbuds.
*A retrospective on the music of Rich Mullins.
*A review on the new book by controversial pastor Mark Driscoll, which is effectively a referendum on the same.
*A showcase of the perplexity of being wealthy and wanting to be socially conscious in a world of need.

Plenty more where that came from, folks. Hope you enjoy it, bookmark it, link your friends to it.

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