The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.


House Churches: More Numerous than You Might Think

The duly-respected and much-venerated, not to mention well-traveled and extremely-attractive Tall Skinny Kiwi has a couple of short posts trying to show that house churches are alive, well, and growing across the Christian West.

The first simply states that we should not ignore house churches, because there are tens of thousands across Europe and Australia. In addition, somewhere between 6 and 12 million people in America attend house churches.

The second offers six different types of house churches, per Wolfgang Simpson.

A couple of quick thoughts: 1) It's cool to see that Xianity in the "West" isn't totally dying, but is just growing in uncharted and unusual ways. IMO, house churches are really interesting and exciting. 2) Now that we have a bit of track record (more than 2 years for the COEC now!!), would we consider ourselves a "house church"?? Would we be in the first category, that of an "off the grid," the "God-yes-church-no" crowd? Not that definitions really matter, but, you know - for the sake of conversation ;)


Rob Bell: December 10: Columbus

Rob Bell will be in Columbus for his "Drops like Stars" tour on December 10th. It would be great to go to this event with a group of "cohorters" (cohortians?).

Info: Palace Theatre, 8pm. Tickets are about $25 after all charges and fees and are general admission, so purchase them on your own (but definitely purchase ahead of time is my advice).

I would recommend trying to get a rough head count for the even within the next week or so, each person purchase tickets individually, and then perhaps we can work out some carpooling or a meeting spot before the event, and then drinks and conversation afterward.

Perhaps a good event to invite some new and/or different folks for conversation as well??

Other thoughts/ideas??



Here is an interesting post that discusses evangelicalism's obsessions with defining who is "in" and "out." I thought there were some interesting points for those of us who have come "out of" evangelicalism, and also now struggle with defining what exactly "is" the "emerging/ent church."

It is astonishing that so many intelligent Christians seem to believe there is a deficit in emphasis on evangelism and scriptural literalism, and that, if the hatches are just battened down on a more solid “worldview,” evangelicalism can resume explaining the universe to new generations of believers. In this respect, evangelicalism’s true believers resemble the faction of the Republican Party that asserts with a straight face that returning to “core principles,” and not a radical restructuring of priorities, will bring waves of Americans back to the right wing.

But so many twenty-somethings are not calling themselves “post-evangelical” because they know too little theology or have put too small an effort into synthesizing it with reality. They have come from the most apologetics-obsessed generation of Christians in American history, and have realized that many of their prepared answers are for questions that no one is asking. Adrift in the cultural sea, many turned to traditions and theological systems of the past, only to find those similarly unequipped to address the questions of our time. The only choice has been to begin the messy and at times overwhelming process of drafting something new.

The growing collection of post-evangelicals is what the defensive, definitional evangelical fears the most, and could by itself explain the recent obsession with protecting the label. Surely many of the intelligent professors, students, writers and bloggers rushing to its defense have also felt the naggings of cognitive dissonance and the inkling that the world might make more sense if they abandoned some of their cultural presuppositions. But haggling over the details of theology provides a psuedo-intellectual haven from real-world questions, where evangelicals can exercise their minds without coming to any unsettling conclusions. And thus the cycle of definition and redefinition continues, providing endless diversion as it cuts deeper and deeper ruts into what was once known as the Christian dialogue.

Refusing to align squarely with evangelical shibboleths requires courage, but the sooner it happens on a larger scale the better. All signs point to a near future where religion will play an increasingly climactic role in global culture and politics. Men and women who, as Mark Noll puts it in the final pages of The Evangelical Scandal, “think like a Christian”—by which he means “take seriously the sovereignty of God over the world he created”—should be leading the way on the meta questions that are already besieging society. But as long as they are busy drafting manifestos in their barricaded salons, hubristic rationalism will continue charging unchecked into the 21st century.


America & Modernity

There is a good post on the story of modernity in America over at the American Creation blog. In light of our recent conversations about how we read the Bible, I think it is relevant. It supports the idea that the "modern" way of thinking is a recent development, especially when it comes to how we approach religion. And especially to how Americans in particular approach religion.


This Sunday: Operation Christmas Child

This Sunday (Nov. 15th) we will be gathering together to participate in the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) project. OCC is a component of the Samaritan's Purse ministry, which is founded and led by Franklin Graham. The effective mission of Samaritan's Purse is to go "to the aid of the world's poor, sick, and suffering...with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ." One way they do this is by giving needy children around the world shoe boxes filled with small, simple, but meaningful gifts.

In 2008, over 8 million shoe boxes were collected and were sent to over 115 countries around the world. This is really an incredible program, but it has to start with people who are willing to purchase the items and pack the shoe box. So, that's us!!

We will meet at 3pm at Adam and Kara's house (thanks for hosting!). First we will watch a short video about the program so that everyone has a good idea what we are participating in. Then we will drive to the store (probably Target) to purchase the items for the shoe boxes. We will return to the house to wrap, pack and prepare the boxes. Kellye and I will bring the necessary papers that are included in each box, and then we will take the finished shoe boxes to a drop off point in Grove City.

Some things you should try to bring to our OCC party:
  • An empty shoe box to be packed and given away.
  • Wrapping paper
  • Any items you would like to include in your shoe box, such as individual size soap or shampoo; hard candy; new toys; school supplies; etc. See a list of suggested items here.
  • Money - have your checkbook so you can include the $7 shipping donation. Also whatever money you plan to spend at the store.
  • Snacks?? Not a necessity, but always welcome ;)
This is really a service event. It definitely requires a sacrifice on our part. You will probably spend around $30 on a shoe box, which might be a lot of money depending on your life circumstances right now. It will also take us a few hours. And it might seem weird to spend all that time and money so a kid can get some small toys; I mean - couldn't we do more with our money? Couldn't we really get to the root of issues like poverty and war?? Maybe. But this is also a simple and easy way to bless an unknown child in an unknown part of the world in a really special way. We have no idea what a small gift like this could do. OCC promises that no child receives a shoe box twice in their life, so for each recipient, this is their first time ever receiving a gift that is this special. It's really a great opportunity for everyday people like us.


Scripture In Community

This Sunday we will meet at Zach and Eve's home at 1270 Courtland in downtown Columbus. As a continuation of the study of the book, "Free for All" by Tim Conder we will be discussing Chapter 5, The Word in the Obscure (Genesis 34).

Despite (and maybe because of) the enormous challenge of this ancient story, I volunteered to lead this time. See you Sunday!