Everybody has a theology. That is to say, everyone has a perspective of God and a way in which they interact with that perspective. You are what you think. What you think about God is the most important thought you will ever have. Personal theology is ingrained in the human experience. Everyone views the world through a lens: a belief system pertaining to how the world operates, morals that govern people’s conduct, and customs concerning how people interact in community. Every person’s worldview shapes their theology: social grids, ideas impressed early in life, and individual biases become so ingrained that virtually everything is viewed through life’s experiences.

Theological constructs dictate how others are treated, where boundaries are drawn and maintained, how religious congregations treat outsiders, how decisions are made, how we treat our children, how congregations worship, what stories we enjoy telling, and more. Things people say, their actions, and self-expressions all relate to their understanding of God. We are theological creatures. Understanding Missio Dei establishes a missional lens through which we can purposefully engage God and the world.

Theology is a broad subject. Narrowing theology down to the specific subgenre of “mission” helps us process how to effectively function as the Body of Christ in the world. However, if we believe the mission of God is linked to every aspect of his existence, then it doesn’t help as much as one would like in a pursuit to think “theologically.” God is mission; everything he does is part of his mission.

Given the global extent of the Christian faith, an astonishing variety of people are doing theology in diverse situations. Over the years, theology has developed some negative connotations. Many people perceive theology as being intellectual and abstract, undertaken primarily by trained professionals who use language and concepts beyond the reach of the common person.

However, I argue that theology is something that every person uses. I believe this because I’ve never met a person who doesn’t have an idea about God. Everyone believes something about God, even if they believe he doesn’t exist, that still counts. Therefore, theology is an enterprise in which all people enter into, even when they don’t realize it. Remember, we are theological beings and we can’t help it. God’s grace has touched the life of every human being. Therefore, no one can live and not consider the Creator and Sustainer of their very existence.

attractional incarnational

For years I have been part of a church culture that employs an attractional approach to ministry. For too long we have relied on programs and uniformity to determine our worth. The tradition of the local church, in many instances, stems from an internal focus. We have mastered the art of entertainment, and we are extremely predictable. This model excels in pastoral service and in edifying believers as we often find ourselves taking care of our own, while paying little to no attention to the hurting world around us. In many ways we have become sectarian, we are in the world, but we are not engaged in the redemption of the world. We have discovered if we implement the right programs our year end statistics make us feel good about what we are doing.

Over the past few years I have noticed a shift in the traditional understanding of missions. More than ever, the church demonstrates an understanding that size has nothing to do with its ability to focus beyond itself and be authentically missional. This can be done whether your church’s average attendance is twenty-five or twenty-five hundred. As a congregation shifts toward an externally-focused paradigm they organically transitioned from an attractional to an incarnational focus. In other words, they begin to ‘flesh out’ the mission of God. Ultimately, the goal is for this mindset to spill over into individual lives, because missional thinking is more about ‘who we are’ than ‘what we do.’


As the understanding of what it means to “be” the church shifted in my local setting, I anticipated leading the congregation to a deeper awareness of what it means to engage outside the walls of the church. The intent is to develop lifestyles of sacrificial service that becomes a new way of living in the world. As time passes the missional language becomes more ingrained in the DNA of the church. Developing this type of atmosphere includes speaking the missional language in such a way that a rhythm of being externally-focused creates momentum and leads people into a unified future.

This lifestyle encourages individuals to literally become the “body” of Christ by volunteering their time beyond the walls of the local church and getting involved with agencies that exist to serve the community. The shift requires the church to remove itself from being the central focus to allowing itself and all its internal trappings to be replaced by a kingdom mentality. In other words, Missio Dei includes much more than we have traditionally realized and transitioning from an internal to an external focus requires realignment of how we think about church.


Shifting from a traditional to a missional focus proves to be complicated, and my church’s transition did not come without its share of difficulties. As the leadership team committed to developing a deeper understanding of mission, they also realized the importance of shaping a perspective beyond that of their traditional underpinning. In their commitment to become increasingly missional, they demonstrated a natural alignment with the biblical narrative. Sequentially, they learned to view the redemptive story of God in a different way. God changed their hearts as they began serving the margins of the local community rather than waiting on people to show up on Sunday morning.

Tradition often teaches us to reach out with our wallets instead of our head, heart, and hands. The consequence is that reaching out monetarily without personal involvement forsakes genuine servanthood and miscommunicates the mission of God in the world. A proper understanding of the missional approach helps people become the hands and feet of Jesus in the community and not merely wait on someone else to take care of communal necessities. The issue then becomes how to preserve and reproduce a missional vision in traditional church culture. I think that missional momentum is only preserved through genuine love for God and neighbor.

The test of our genuineness in God’s eyes is found in how we express our love for one another. How we represent the kingdom in the local context is critical, because if we can’t do it well in the church, we don’t stand a chance in the world. For us to come to grips with the idea that the church is a contribution to society, and not merely a place to get our needs met, we need to understand that the gospel is the good news of reconciliation for everyone.

Every person is invited to take part. God wants to rescue people from the kingdom of darkness and transfer them to the kingdom of light. God’s desire is that he should lose none. That means that people do not have to earn a seat at the table, instead their seat has already been purchased by Christ. We are called to the ministry of reconciliation and it includes everybody. This is an action item.

Church is a verb. I do not want to stand before God one day and say “We didn’t do anything.” In the end the question will not be, “How much have you obtained?” but “How much have you given?” Not “How much success have you achieved?” but “How much have you provided for others?” Not “How much have you saved?” but “How much have you sacrificed?” The missional mindset understands the church as a group of ambassadors who will not take no for an answer when it comes to serving the world.

Reconciliation means that God has declared that there are no obstacles in Christ. As God’s voice in the world we proclaim, “There is nothing standing in the way.” Our calling consists of being Christ-followers who offer the world a taste of what the kingdom is really like. Our goal is to make compassion fashionable: to make grace mainstream. This includes being faithful to the call of distributing goodness to whoever needs it. And it doesn’t matter if someone’s life is wrecked beyond comprehension, kingdom ambassadors connect the world with the goodness of God in such a way that anyone has the potential to become new.

When followers of Christ become God’s visual aid in the earth, they show others what heaven is really like. When people learn to think properly about the kingdom of God anything is possible. God calls them “The Body” and Christ’s Body must be noticeably different from all other bodies.

God loves everyone. When we believe that, it liberates the way we process all of life’s happenings. What we believe about God is the most important thought we will ever have. Identifying people outside the Christian faith as “pre-Christian,” instead of “non-believer”  will help us view everyone with potential to become part of the Body, because the Father is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

America's Smallest Church

People leave churches for a variety of reasons. Financial difficulties, leadership transitions, ministry programs, etc. are the wrong reasons to leave a church. Others complain about the lack of children and youth ministries without ever getting involved and trying to help make a difference themselves. Other exit strategies include the following: “The worship leader refused to listen to me about the music,” “I wasn’t being fed,” “I was not about to support the building program they wanted,” “I was out two weeks and no one called me,” and “They moved the times of the worship services and it messed up my schedule.” All of these are pathetic reasons to ever leave a church.

No church is perfect. So, forget the grandiose idea of finding the flawless place of worship; it doesn’t exist. Besides, if the perfect church did exist and you show up it wouldn’t be perfect anymore. I’ve always been an advocate for sticking with your church during the good times and the bad. However, I also believe there are ‘right reasons’ for leaving. As a matter of fact I’m going to give you three reasons, not only to leave, but to run.

1.) Lack of Vision. “Where there is no vision people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18). If a church exists without an articulated vision, without a vision that leaders can tell you about, without something being the focal point for pointing people to a future with Christ, I would leave that church. Vision is essential for the spiritual growth. Vision encourages unity as it signals where the church is headed and what it is trying to accomplish.

A common vision says we are working together toward the same goals. A vision also creates energy. Not much happens without an inspiring and compelling vision for people’s lives and the life of the congregation as it moves into the future. Vision happens when we begin to see the world through the eyes of Christ. Vision gets you on God’s program and off your own. A church without a vision is never going to grow. In fact, the opposite will occur: it will perish.

2.) Living in the Past. I’ve always encouraged people to respect the past while looking toward the future. I believe foundations are important for any movement. However, remembering the past and trying to recreate it are two very different things. All churches have a period of time they would consider the ‘glory days.’ This period is probably characterized by building a new facility or experiencing substantial growth. For many people, those are the good ole days and they want to bottle them up for use at a later date. The problem is that God keeps moving and doing new things. Yet many churches, instead of moving into new territory, fight to keep the glory days alive. In turn, instead of bearing fruit, they seal their fate.

Let me remind you, the disciples didn’t go back to the Upper Room to experience the Holy Spirit; they had the Holy Spirit in them as they went into the world. Also, when the Israelites followed God in the wilderness, he led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the glory cloud moved, people packed up camp and followed God into the unknown. It doesn’t take long to recognize a congregation who is stuck in the past. If it looks, sounds, smells, and acts like it is two decades old, then it’s probably five decades old. I would leave any church that refuses to move forward and reach out in relevant ways. Numerous churches continue to circle the wagon because it’s easy, not because it’s right. Run from these churches.

3.) Inward Focus. Every leader wants to attract a crowd. It’s easier to preach to a packed house than it is to empty pews. When the church is full of people, excitement fills the air. However, many churches have turned Sundays into nothing more than an hour of entertainment. Lights, cameras, and productions are okay, but when we forsake servanthood for the sake of putting on a good show, we abandon the call of Christ. There is never a time when inward focus trumps outward service… never! The church is called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to provide opportunities for people to plug-in to places where they can serve the world.

I would certainly not attend a church where a missional focus on serving was not evident at every gathering. I would leave any church whose message consisted of “come and see what we are doing,” without an emphasis on what it means to “go and be the church in the world.” This is not to say we shouldn’t strive to have high quality worship experiences; I believe we should. Nonetheless, during times of corporate worship, and I mean every time, we should be able to clearly see, hear, and identify ways to get involved in the ministry of the church that is going into the world with a towel and basin. The church is Christ’s rescue mission in the world and we are called to take the hope of the gospel to our communities, not merely wait on people to show up in our sanctuaries.

Conclusion: There are a lot more reasons to stay in your church than there are to leave. I would be careful if you’re looking for a reason to leave. If you determine that you’re in a place where you need to move on, there are right ways to do it. Communicate your decision to leave with the appropriate leaders. Tell these leaders the truth about why you’re leaving. If you have legitimate reasons to leave, then you have nothing to hide or worry about. Then, appropriately transition or conclude your ministry commitments. If you’ve been an active part of a ministry, your role will need to be transitioned. Leave graciously, which means you refuse to speak evil of those who remain in the church. In the end, remember that Jesus loves the church you’re leaving and the one you’re going to. Even if the one you’re leaving has lost its focus, God still loves it and you should too.


“God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable” ~Shane Claiborne. It happens throughout Scripture. I’ve learned this firsthand. I was comfortable in ministry in a beautiful city, with a loving congregation, when suddenly God said, “It’s time to go.” It didn’t surprise me, because in my suburban comfort, I increasingly felt uneasy as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. In other words, I knew it was coming, yet the reality of leaving my comfortable place to go somewhere else caused a lot of anxiety when it came right down to it.

My reality was that I became very uncomfortable in my comfort. I’ve always considered myself a man of adventure. What I love most about following Jesus is that you never know what God is going to do next. It is an exciting way to live. However, if we’re not careful, before we know it we get comfortable, stop growing in our faith, and not even realize it’s happening.

I became increasingly restless before moving from North Carolina to Illinois. As I sought God on a deeper level, I realized there was more cost involved in truly being a disciple than I had paid up to that point. The beautiful thing was my discomfort arose not from a critical attitude toward my church or community, but from a desire for something more. I decided that I did not want to settle for comfort, but still didn’t realize what that meant for my life.

I never want my life to be detached from the needs of the world. Nor do I want to play a part in the machine of organized religion, or merely entertain people on Sundays. Instead, I desire to be part of a revolution that was started 2000 years ago: to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. I want to continually be transformed from the mind of consumerism to the mind of Christ. Sadly, I do not believe a large portion of what we call the church really gets what this revolution involves. The more I read the Bible, the more I feel my comfortable life interrupted.

‘What we do’ is not nearly as important ‘as who we are.’ The question is not whether you will be a teacher, doctor, or lawyer, but what kind of teacher, doctor, or lawyer you will be. What would a twenty-year-old Jesus have said if they asked him, “What are you going to do when you grow up?” Maybe something like, “I’m going to turn the world upside-down. I’m going to hang out with prostitutes, outsiders, and tax collectors until they kill me.” Or what would Peter have said? “Well, I was going to be a fisherman, but then I met this guy, and he messed all that up.”

Mother Teresa said, “Do not worry about your career. Concern yourself with your vocation, and that is to be lovers of Jesus.” That’s the call, to be a “vocational lover.” Are you okay with that? It requires that you surrender everything. It requires that you abandon the way of comfort and stability in order to fully trust God with your life. A vocational lover of Christ allows God to crash into their lives and mess things up so that they can grow in their faith and follow him into a greater purpose. And if along the way we annoy people by disturbing their comfort, then praise be to God.

(Sources: Shane Claiborne; Mother Teresa; Jeff Goins)

mission of love

A church on mission is forward-thinking. Though it is respectful of the history and traditions that have been created behind it, it always looks to the future with great anticipation. It’s like hiking a high mountain; there are various campsites on the way up, but the goal is to reach the summit. We must move onwards and upwards. To have a view of distant landscapes, even if shrouded in mist, is to be aware of the terrain that has to be crossed to reach the summit.

Engaging mission is like traveling. It is being on a journey. It is a restless moving towards the time when God will be all-in-all with his creation (1 Cor. 15:28). Missional churches understand that Christians are in transit. They have not landed at their final destination in life. Missional churches recognize that there is no vacation from the calling of the Gospel. They know that the only thing in this world that “cannot be shaken” is the kingdom of God (Heb. 12:28). Therefore, the Church exists because of God’s mission: missio sit ergo ecclesia sit. To be the church is to be on mission; to not be on mission is to not be the church. Period. There is no church without mission.

Because the church collectively is missional by definition, we must teach and equip every member individually to be missionaries in the world. Because our mission includes the world, we understand the importance of God’s mission being the driving force behind all we do. Missionaries are at home everywhere, but not quite at home anywhere. They are persons who can move easily from one place to another, from one culture to another, and not become confused, or lost, or incapable of action. This means that there are no “no go” areas when it comes to what God is going to accomplish in the world. The Gospel knows no boundaries or limitations.

God’s mission is our mission and his mission starts with love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). If God loved the world (you and me) enough to lay down his life through Jesus, then our calling to the world included loving sacrificially. Mission starts and ends with love. Love must be the centerpiece in all we do. It is foundational in the work of the Gospel.

My prayer is that the church will love their city, the people of their communities, the families and children of their congregations, and the people they’ve yet to meet unlike they’ve ever loved before. Let’s love people to the point of response, meaning either they love us back or run away frightened because of the radical love we have for them.

Let’s sacrifice more time, energy, money, and resources than ever before to loving people. The command to love is a command based on the hope of Christ and our satisfaction in God’s great promises. We must be persuaded in the midst of our sacrifices that the love of God is “better than life” (Psalm 63:3). Loving people doesn’t earn you the reward of heaven; it gives you the peace and joy of the Lord. May it be ours as we engage God’s Mission of Love!

(Sources: Kirk J. Andrew; Shane Claiborne)


Church is a Verb! The call of Christ is not passive. It’s active. It includes becoming a visible expression of God in the world. It consists of a group of people called to participate in God’s redemptive plan for humanity. Jesus calls his followers to a life of sacrificial service. Being the Body of Christ involves being committed to the mission of God for the sake of the world.

With that said, one must note that being the church in a consumeristic society is particularly difficult. Countless congregations vividly reflect the consumer-driven culture of our age. Because of this popular approach mission is often sacrificed for entertainment and churches frequently become nothing more than a marketplace of spiritual services where individuals get their needs met. Churches that do not strive to find a way out of this prevailing mindset, by default, become saturated in consumerism, which is a detriment to discipleship. Without a strategy, instead of intentional disciples, we create shoppers: individuals who want nothing more than to consume.

As a pastor, I want to continually challenge my congregation to “think,” because we are what we think. I hope to push new ways of thinking through the doorway that God is opening. The mindset of Christ is the ultimate goal: a transformation process that is so profound, enormous, and astonishing that it changes the life of everybody we come in contact with.

The church should represent a new way of functioning in the world that absolutely brings transformation to the community. A key component becomes helping people learn to think like authentic Christ-followers. Scripture teaches that as a person thinks in the heart, so is the person (Proverbs 23:7). The problem is too many people are not what they think they are. Then there are those who are controlled primarily by what they think others think they are. If people do not first discover that their true identity is only found “in Christ” and that they are abundantly loved children of God, they don’t stand a chance at discovering their purpose in the kingdom.

The test of our authenticity in God’s eyes is found in how we express our love for one another. How we represent the kingdom in the local context is critical, because if we can’t do it well in the local church, we don’t have a chance in the world. For us to come to grips with the idea that the church is a contribution to society, we need to understand that the gospel is the “Good News” of reconciliation for everyone. Every person is invited to the table. God wants to rescue people from darkness and to transfer them to the kingdom of light. That is God’s desire, that he should lose none. That means that people do not have to earn a seat at the table; instead their seat has already been purchased by Christ. We are called to the ministry of reconciliation and it includes everybody.

Church is a Verb!

I do not want to stand before God one day and say, “I didn’t do anything!” In the end the question will not be, “How much have you obtained?” but “How much have you given?” Not “How much success have you achieved?” but “How much have you provided for others?” Not “How much have you saved?” but “How much have you sacrificed?” The missional mindset understands the church as a group of ambassadors who will not take no for an answer when it comes to serving the world.

As the Body, our job is to create a culture of celebration that reflects the culture of heaven. Church needs to be a safe place for people to discover who they are: a place where they realize their dreams and learn to be more than they ever thought possible. As Christ’s Body, we help align people with God’s plan for their lives; we give them room to grow and make mistakes as we journey together. That takes being intentional and strategic in all that we do. There’s no time for consumerism. The call of Christ is a call to action. Church is a Verb!


About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

These same people had enough vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. However, in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.

Too many churches surrender to existing without a vision for advancing God’s Kingdom. In the midst of a committee meeting at some point in time, that flame, that fire of vision for the Lord’s work began to fade away. If we fail to have a vision that transforms lives, we will become like the people in the illustration. We will lose our pioneering spirit. We will become grumblers. We will become ineffective.

Vision is defined as “an experience in which a circumstance or event appears vividly to the mind, although not actually present…” Vision occurs when we allow God to show us our future path. Many congregations allow vision to diminish, and as a result they wither into obscurity. Without vision people perish! (Proverbs 29:18). We must be willing to invest our time, energy, and resources into the fulfillment of vision. After all, Jesus calls all of us to surrender everything. All that we are and all that we have belongs to God; we are merely stewards for a lifetime.

Striving toward vision requires many things. As individuals and as a congregation, we must develop several traits necessary to move toward the fulfillment of vision. These include: (1) Willingness to invest in the future, sometimes called “risk-taking”; (2) Willingness to let go of the past, sometimes called “change”; (3) Willingness to give up that which is good individually for that which is best for the entire group, sometimes called “sacrifice”; and (4) Willingness to proceed in a manner that brings the greatest number of persons along, sometimes called “patience”.

Our task is to be faithful in our generation. We must place our trust, not in our own efforts, but in the providence, graciousness, and goodness of God. Let’s boldly cross bridges that take us from the past to the future. I urge you to find a place to plug-in and help take your church to the next level. I ask you to pray, support, engage ministry, and to commit to the vision of the local assembly so that the Body of Christ will be ever-effective in making Christ-like disciples in the nations.

(Sources: Lynn Anderson; Paul Harvey, George Barna)

Jesus was incarnational: God in flesh. He lived among the people. Being missional means being immersed in culture, understanding how to speak the language, and not being scared to engage people from all walks of life. Jesus did not come to erect a building, introduce a new style of worship, or invite people to a service on Sunday. He became friends with the poor and marginalized… those in need of a physician.

Jesus is the ultimate example of what it means to be incarnational. When God puts on flesh we’d better pay attention. He was born poor and grew up in a meager town on the wrong side of the tracks (or should I say sea). The very people that watched him become a man also rejected him. Jesus made little impact in his hometown amount his own people. How would you handle being rejected by your own family and friends?

So, Jesus became friends of sinners. He hung out with those who had been rejected by society. He lived on the margins. He took God’s love to the place people never expected to find it. Jesus because love to those who had never experienced it. His radical acts of love caused him a tremendous amount of trouble in the eyes of the religious establishment. But he kept loving anyway.

I think the church today seeks too much esteem. “Look at what we’ve accomplished” is the cry of our age. However, when we examine the Early Church, we discover that the only model they knew was one of rejection by the world’s standards. Those that had been Jesus’ disciples saw how he removed himself from the crowds and wanted no fame or fortune for his ability to lead others to God.

His purpose was to make disciples: to create clusters of people that carried out the mission of God. He realized that only through discipleship would the kingdom mandate be carried on after he was gone. In fact, it’s through discipleship that the kingdom lives on forever.

A missional church understands that it is primarily a community of people being trained and equipped to live among the world as missionaries. The same principle as learning to be a missionary in a foreign field must be applied in our own backyards. We must learn to live life with the people we are trying to reach. This means we learn to speak the language, go to the places, and immerse ourselves in the culture. It involves spending time with real people in the real world.

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. The scripture teaches that they traveled together: eating, sleeping, and sharing life. The Greek word is diatribe means “to wear through.” That’s what spending time together should do: force us to wear through on one another. Discipleship involved ‘wearing through.’ It means that I wear through on you, you wear through on me, and one big family we shall be!

God With Suffering
The term “theodicy” comes from two Greek words: theos = “god” + dike = “justice.” This word commonly refers to an attempt to resolve the occurrence of evil in the world by reconciling God’s characteristics of being all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing. To find an answer, we essentially have to identify God in human suffering. Many people have a hard time watching human beings experience undeserved pain and tragedy, and then trying to reconcile that an all-powerful God really cares.

So where is God in the pain and suffering of life? In answering this question we must always start with Jesus. Everything starts with Jesus; he is the perfect reflection of an all-loving God. He came to earth to show us what God is like and to also show us what we should be like.

Unlike many evangelicals, Jesus never tells people who are suffering that it’s because they did something wrong or have unconfessed sin in their life. When Job lost everything and sat in sackcloth and ashes, the best thing his friends could have done was keep their mouths shut. When they started talking about “why” Job was suffering, they only showed their lack of understanding pertaining to the nature of God. What they failed to see in the midst of Job’s suffering was God’s.

Jesus always starts with compassion. He makes wrongs right and justifies suffering and pain with love and mercy. What we learn from Jesus is that God always sides with the one who is suffering. He’s not out in the distant universe somewhere picking at people and making them feel worse than they already do.

God is on the side of the sufferer, and we cannot find an exception to that in scripture. Notice the Disciples and the Pharisees demanded answers as to why bad things happen to some people and not others. Interestingly Jesus never spoke to the reasons “why.” Actually, Jesus always blew off the questions of “why” and instead focused on the response: “What can we do about it?”

When Hurricane Katrina blew into Louisiana, or when a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, unlike some evangelical voices that declared God’s judgment on the people in these areas, we should respond like Jesus by saying, “What can I do to help?” The scripture indicates that God grieves about human suffering even more than those who are experiencing loss.

Think about it, when Jesus responded to a widowed woman who had lost her son, when he ministered to a Roman soldier whose servant was sick, when he heals the blind, crippled, and diseased… He always, always, always extends compassion, not judgment. God sides with the suffering and his response is always marked with love and compassion.

“God is like Jesus.
God has always been like Jesus.
There has never been a time when God was not like Jesus.
We have not always known what God is like—
But now we do.” ~Brian Zahnd

(Sources: Brian Zahnd; Shane Claiborne; Jürgen Moltmann)