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Dan Brennan
Provoking a deeper conversation about cross-gender friendships
Recent Activity
This is my second post on reflecting on Bronwyn Lea's new book, Beyond Awkward Side Hugs. This second post is borne out of a love for Christian friendship. Not just friendship between women and men but out of a love... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Dan J. Brennan
I have several close friendships with women. Including evangelical women. One of my most cherished friendships is with an evangelical woman who has a PhD in theology. We have had a deep, close friendship for over twelve years. I have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2020 at Dan J. Brennan
I am super grateful that quite a range of news outlets have covered this friendship story in our polarized U.S. world right now. USA Today, Fox News, LGBTQ Nation, Washington Examiner, BET, Business Insider, and GayTimes are among the outlets... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
Something I am working on in a chapter I am writing: What is Christian cross-sex friendship? That’s the million-dollar question. To take a stab at a meaning of deep friendship is a provocative risk into uncharted waters. We simply can’t... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
I continue to share some thoughts after reading David Fitch's new book, The Church of Us vs. Them. If you are looking for an evangelical Neo-AnaBaptist “us vs. them” model than this is for you. As someone who has a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
Deep within a theology of Christian friendship is a fundamental relational distinction between David Fitch's Neo-Anabaptist psychology and leadership through friendship. It's a huge distinction that becomes more and more valuable and meaningful the farther we probe into us vs.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
Sheila, my wife, after I had posted my first post asked me what was my goal in this series. What would I like to see happen? Great question. My goal? Well, ultimately it would be great to see David move... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
As soon as I discovered David Fitch was going write this book The Church of Us vs Them, I was eager to read it. As someone who has experienced “the church of us vs. them” dynamics from Dave himself, including... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
I knew it was only a matter of time before a female theologian explored ecclesial friendship's deep mutuality. I am so, so, so thankful that I know something of this rich blessing/gift in my church. But it didn’t happen overnight.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
This is my sixth post on Dr. Chloe Lynch’s book, Ecclesial Leadership as Friendship. I am not writing an extensive or detailed review. It’s more like I am writing some reflections after experiencing a glorious fullness of mind and heart... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
Why, yes, I have been raving about Dr. Chloe Lynch’s book, Ecclesial Leadership as Friendship on my blog as well as to my friends! I have been waiting for this book for years. In every sense of the word, Dr.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
In this series I have been reflecting on the groundbreaking new book, Ecclesial Leadership as Friendship. Previous posts are here in part one, two, and three. I knew it. I knew it was only a matter of time before a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
In these posts about Dr. Chloe Lynch’s trailblazing book, Ecclesial Leadership as Friendship, I am trying to convey something of the fullness I encountered in reading it. It is not my intention to do an extensive review of her book.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
“I have called you friends” (John 15:15). I’m pretty sure I have read over a thousand books quoting Jesus calling his disciples “friends.” It’s in leadership books. Psychology books. Sociology books. Philosophy books. Theology books. Commentaries. Books authored by pastors.... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
It’s almost impossible for me to describe the feeling I had when I finished reading Chloe Lynch’s Ecclesial Leadership as Friendship. She has done the unthinkable! Lynch, an evangelical theologian has given theologians an outstanding contribution to a theology of... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
As I write this, I am aware of some super progressive friends in my life, in my workplace, in my church, and in my FB feed. I’m also aware that I have some super nuanced conservatives or evangelicals (they would... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at Dan J. Brennan
I finished reading John Townsend's book, How to be a Best Friend Forever a couple of weeks ago. So many thoughts were swirling in my head! From 2004 onward I have been able to say that some of my best... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
Ever since the middle of the last decade when I could say a couple of my female friends were some of my best friends, I have hungered for friendship wisdom about opposite-sex best friends. That might be only a surprise... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
Thanks for reading and responding Project Samizdat Chris! Yes, you are perceptive that I did not focus on the "culture of celebrity" part. That's because I wanted to go deeper into human flourishing with love promoting women's flourishing. It's been quite fashionable after the Chicago Tribune article in March to jump on the bandwagon to criticize the "celebrity culture" and to criticize celebrity pastors drunk with power. There are some huge voices with a lot of power--power in the sense of crowds following them and they have published books etc.--who have criticized Hybels and the whole megachurch model. I did not focus on this aspect because both reformed (that is, voices not supporting women as leaders and co-pastors) and egalitarian critics have seized the moment to criticize the megachurch model. But, my take is that you can have egalitarians and complemetarians clueless about their dominant power in small churches and one-on-one relationships (friendships). Well-intentioned men for example, who are still immersed in toxic masculinity and the evangelical purity culture, may ascribe to egalitarian ideals in a small church but be clueless about their power over individual women in small churches. Men who write on mutuality and egalitarian ideals in their books and blogs but who have never intentionally practiced any intimate friendships with women other than their wives. It's just my two cents, but we will miss confronting a lot of toxic masculinity in our church cultures if we just focus on megachurches or "celebrity" individuals. What is most important, is to be aware of toxic power in our most immediate relationships whether we are pastors in a megachurch or a small church.
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I’ve got one more post in me regarding Missio Alliance’s August 13th link, 7 Questions All Pastors Need to Ask Themselves Post-Hybels I wanted to see if one (or more!) of the self-awareness questions was going to explore friendship as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
Scrolling down my Facebook feed last Monday my eyes came across a new link by Missio Alliance: 7 Questions All Pastors Need to Ask Themselves Post-Hybels by Rich Villodas. That immediately grabbed my attention. I saw who the writer was,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
I have said some wonderfully positive things about Aimee Byrd’s new book on male-female friendship, Why Can’t We Be Friends? Go here for part one. Here for part two. Now, this last post, I am diving deeper into ecclesial intimacy.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
Another top ten list. I had been alone with female friends hundreds of times including several road trips over the course of thirteen years when I came upon a particular phrase by sociologist Maria Markus that powerfully resonated with me.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
Take it from me, friends. Aimee Byrd's Why Can't We Be Friends is a rich, unflinching, non-anxious exploration of intimate friendships between men and women. On the one hand, it's shocking that it comes from a conservative reformed publisher. On... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan
I am thrilled that Aimee Byrd's new book on friendship between the sexes, Why Can't We Be Friends?: Avoidance is not Purity gets released next week. Friends, she is dropping a bombshell in the conservative evangelical community and is making... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2018 at Dan J. Brennan