‘I Am Continually With You’ : A Review of L. Callid Keefe-Perry’s “Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer”

I really enjoyed reading and learning from Callid Keefe-Perry’s new book, “Way to Water.”

A photo posted by C. Wess Daniels (@cwessd) on


Church services are poetry from beginning to end; they just are poetry.
…Religion is serious poetry — which is not to say religion cannot be light-
hearted. But at its highest it turns important; and important involvement with language, use of language for significant human experiences,
merges inevitably into poet.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review from Wipf & Stock.

This book outlines the historical development and contours of theopoetics, a theological discipline, or even style, that has emerged since the 60’s. Prior to reading Way to Water: A Theopoetics PrimerI knew next to nothing about this unique approach to theology. In a way, as a pastor and theologian, I’m a good test case for the book, which aims at being an introduction but is certainly not entry-level. If you have interest in knowing more about theopoetics and the potential uses for it within faith communities, this is book is really is a perfect place to start.

Blog Entries

A Convergent Model of Renewal is Ready for Order

A Convergent Model of Renewal by C. Wess Daniels

My first book to be published is printed and ready for order. You can order it directly from the publisher and received a 20% discount off the retail price.

The book will be available as an e-book and through local bookstores, Amazon and other services in the next 3-6 weeks.

Thank you for ordering! If you read the book and post about it use #convergentmodel on instagram, twitter or facebook so we can track the conversation.

Click here to go to the publisher page.


Is the Empire Striking Back? (Mark 1)

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:9–15 NRSV)

The Empire Strikes Back?

There are many kinds of kingdoms that have been announced.

All with their heralds, some wielding guns, or wielding knives, and some even wielding Death Stars, and others – like this one we’ve just read about – comes bearing nothing more than a handful of short stories, and teachings and demonstrations of love.

I don’t know about you but Jesus announcing what he calls “the kingdom of God” stretches my imagination to the breaking point.

What is “the kingdom of God” exactly?

Part of the problem is that we don’t have a lot references for Kingdoms today, besides Downtown Abbey I think we’re out of luck.


The Green of Renewal

The book cover is in so that means that we’ve very close to printing! Stay tuned.

You can also visit the book page for more information.


Sketchnotes for Nursery of Truth


These are the sketchnotes from my recent message “The Nursery of Truth” based on John 15.

I’ve been using this much larger size of paper and loving how much I can fit onto one page. I like this approach because it helps to get the whole picture. Once I have this done I begin writing. It doesn’t always turn out like the sketchnotes but they certainly help to guide the writing process.


‘it defines itself in terms of the growing edge’ -H. Thurman

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ reminds us once again of the penalty which any highly organized society exacts of those who violate its laws. The social resistors fall into two general groups – those who resist the established order by doing the things that are in opposition to accepted standards of decency and morality: the criminal, the antisocial, the outlaw; and those who resist the established order because its requirements are too low, too unworthy the highest and best in man. Each is a menace to organized society and both must be liquidated as disturbers of the peace.

Behold then the hill outside of the city of Jerusalem, the criminal and the Holy Man sharing a common judgment, because one rose as high above the conventions of his age as the other descended below. Perhaps it is ever thus. Whenever a Jesus Christ is crucified, there will also be crucified beside him the thief — two symbols of resistance to the established pattern. When Christianity makes central in its doctrine the redemptive significance of the cross, it defines itself ever in terms of the growing edge, the advance guard of the human race, who take the lead in man’s long march to the City of God.

-Howard Thurman (Deep Is The Hunger)


The Nursery of Truth (John 15)

From the very beginning of the Quaker movement, Friends have liked asking questions. Part of this is because they got rid of the creeds, and something need to take their place.

So they used queries.

We could have t-shirts made up that says something like “The church of questions.”

(Q:) What do you think of that? Wouldn’t that be interesting?

It’s like being in a classroom within one of those really annoying teachers and you raise hand to ask a question “Professor, what is Paul’s anthropology?” And the professor responds back, “Well Johnny, what do you think it is?”

It’s hard to get answers out of someone like that.

George Fox was famous for saying, “the apostles say this, and the priest say that, but what canst thou say?”

For Quakers, the purpose of queries is to help spur on the growth of truth in our lives and meetings.

Teaching The Pastorate

Convers(at)ions in Community: On Creating Space for Dialogue Around the Sermon

This is a third post in a series of reflections on the nature of dialogue and transformation, or “convers(at)ion” as I am referring to it as for a little playfulness (see a and b).

These are some ideas of how we try to inhabit some of the ideas of conversations/conversions within our faith community specifically around our dialogue with scripture.

Invite the congregation to reflect throughout the week on the upcoming text

I got started doing this very early on at Camas Friends (almost 6 years ago). I think I stole the idea from my friend Jason M. but I’m not sure where it came from now. But basically I send the text out on Tuesday or Wednesday so people can reflect on it the rest of the week.


The Taste of Truth (John 18:33-38)

“Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37–38 NRSV)

I, like Pilate, want to know what is truth.

I want to be able to identify truth the way that I can identify the notes of coffee from Ethiopia and distinguish it from coffee that came from Central America. I want to recognize the hints of truth the way I can recognize the hints of berries, chocolate, and orange in a fresh cup of Joe.

Pilate’s question, what is truth, is an honest one. It is a universal one. It sums up every question that has ever been asked. Is God there? Does she or he love me? Is this job the right job for me? Have I done good enough? What is the right thing to do?

Then Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

Blog Entries

3 Reasons I Love to Blog

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”
-Flannery O’Connor /ht color turtle

I’ve been following John Saddington’s 10 day blog challenge as a means of both getting into the groove of writing more and developing my site here. Today’s suggestion is to consider some of the reasons why I blog. I know there’s more but this is what came to me first.

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