One of the joys of assessing manuscripts by new authors is discovering both a good story and a good storyteller. So it was a delight working with Gordon Oyer, a midwest Mennonite, on his book project documenting the historic retreat of pioneering peacemakers with Thomas Merton in the fall of 1964 (in photo above), which included A.J. Muste, J.H. Yoder, the Berrigan brothers, Jim Forest and others.
Three powerful faith traditions--Anabaptist peace ecclesiology, Catholic radicalism and Protestant political theology--converged for the first time at that legendary retreat at Merton's hermitage. The resulting synergy has fueled North American Christian activism ever since. Any of us who seek today to bear public witness to the gospel, justice and political imagination are truly “children” of that conversation a half a century ago; whenever we gather in a retreat setting to discern the times and our response, we are walking in their footsteps. Oyer has gifted us with a magnificent chronicle of that seminal eventin his forthcoming Pursuing The Spiritual Roots of Protest, due out from Cascade Books in March.
Two retreats around the book are being planned. The first is just two months away, and will be held at Kirkridge in PA. I urge you to check it out (share the Facebook page with your circles). Another is being planned for October 24-25 at the Merton Center in Louisville, KY. Please help spread the word!
Save the dates for these upcoming BCM webinars, featuring scriptural reflection, movement history and social justice themes. Our 2014 schedule will be (mostly) the second Tuesday of the month at 5:45-7:15 pm Pacific Time except where noted.
Tuesday, Mar 11:
“Birthing a Modern Mennonite Peace Witness: Interview with Dr. Laura Roberts." The "Concern Movement" of the 1950s saw young theologians and activists put the Anabaptist vision into conversation with the wider church. Dr. Roberts of Fresno Pacific University is editing the Concern pamphlet series. We'll also hear from original Concern participant, Al Meyer, interviewed on tape by Tim Nafziger.
Note: Special start time: 5 pm PST!
Tuesday, April 15:
"Jesus' Death and Atonement Theology: A Holy Week Conversation with Dr. Ted Grimsrud." Ched will talk with Grimsrud, theology professor at Eastern Mennonite University, about his new book, Instead of Atonement: The Bible's Salvation Story and Our Hope for Wholeness (Cascade, 2013). You can find Ted's popular blogs here and here.
Tuesday, May 6:
“Farming, Permaculture and Theology: Sylvia Keesmaat and Chris Grataski." This live broadcast will give a glimpse into our Permaculture Design Certificate course, with biblical scholar/farmer Keesmaat and permaculturist Grataski.
Tuesday, June 10:
"From Babel to Pentecost: Insurgent Cultural Diversity vs. Imperial Conformity." Ched's study of Gen 11 and Acts 2 as warning tales about monoculture, and the divine endorsement of human diversity.
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It’s good to recognize milestones. First published by Orbis Books in 1988, a 20th anniversary edition of this commentary with new front matter was issued in 2008. It is still widely used in theological schools, but also is tackled by lay readers in study groups (despite the teasing I get for writing “such a long and difficult tome”). I am grateful that this study has had measurable impact on the seminary, sanctuary and streets alike. People often tell me that it changed their lives—three lovely notes I’ve received over the years are below—and I can honestly say that it changed mine as well. A quarter century later, I’m still trying to embody the discipleship vision of Mark’s gospel in my life and work.
About this site: Our purpose is to provide one-stop access to writing and talks by activist theologian Ched Myers. A biblical scholar and popular educator, Ched is an author, organizer and advocate who has for 30 years been challenging and supporting Christians to engage in peace and justice work and radical discipleship. To learn more about Ched's work, click on the "Life and Activism" tab at the top of the page.
For information about Ched's writing, speaking and the Bartimaeus Institute, click on the tabs above. If you are new to Ched's work, we invite you to play the videos and audio excerpts below to get a glimpse of his approach.
Ched's work is available for free download or for purchase by clicking on the links on the right. We have made available more than 100 of his articles and books, and new pieces will be added as they are published. We also now have more than a dozen audio downloads, with more to come, and we are working on making video presentations available as well. You can search by product or topic using the right hand column. (Note: If you want audio or video but can't figure out how to download them, let us know and we'll burn them on to a CD or DVD for you.)
Pricing protocol: Any of Ched's articles or audio talks currently available elsewhere on the web can be downloaded on this site at no cost (or we provide the link). All other published material, as well as a number of Ched's unpublished talks and sermons and audio, are available here at what we think is a fair and affordable price. The revenues generated by product purchases go to support the work of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. (Note: A number of you have told us that our prices are too low. If this is your view, please make a donation to BCM by using the "Donate" button at right. Donors to BCM will receive our monthly "Partner's Circle E-News" and three resource mailings a year.)
We hope you'll bookmark this site, and return whenever you want to draw upon this rich collection of reflections on scripture and social issues. Thanks for your interest in Ched's work.
Introduction to Bartimaeus Institute
The call to discipleship in Mark's gospel