Life on the Vine, by Phil KennesonFROM THE PUBLISHER:

Many books--many fine books--have been published on the fruits of the Spirit. But none are quite like Life on the Vine.

Philip Kenneson combines in this book rich, theologically grounded reflection on Christian life and practice with stunning analysis of contemporary culture. After a probing introductory chapter on the necessity and complexity of cultural analysis, Kenneson takes up each of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. He explores what each fruit means in its biblical context, then investigates how key traits of late modern Western culture inhibit the development and ripening of each fruit.

Life on the Vine is that rare book that will reward the reader on many levels. It may be read as a biblical and theological study, as an inspirational work on spirituality, as incisive cultural criticism and as a practical guide to Christian discipleship.


"There are just so many things Phil Kenneson does well in Life on the Vine. In exploring the social and cultural obstacles to the life of discipleship--and more important, what we do about them--he shows his command of Scripture, social analysis and pastoral realities. Kenneson writes so clearly and so well that he moves ideas and concerns once discussed only within the scholarly guild into the everyday life and dialogue of the church. But behind Kenneson's smooth prose stands the hard edge of gospel truth and a sophisticated critique of contemporary politics, economics and culture. This is an essential book for pastors, Christian educators of all kinds, parents and anyone who would 'seek first the kingdom of God' in our day."
—Michael L. Budde, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science, DePaul University, Chicago
Author of The (Magic) Kingdom of God: Christianity and Global Culture Industries

"Kenneson gracefully explores the tensions between Christian virtue and middle-class life in the bull market. Probing Paul's list of fruits of the Spirit in Galatians, he walks us through the obstacle course of the comfortable: consumer culture, enslavement to productivity, the lure of aggression and more. It is an Imitation of Christ for our wealthy and frenetic age, filled with carefully crafted spiritual exercises that cut to the quick of our impatient and loveless age: insightful, down-to-earth, compassionate."
—Ellen Charry, Princeton Theological Seminary

"An exciting, accessible, important book. Kenneson understands the challenges the Christian church needs to face in relation to American culture. His disarmingly wise and well-developed reflections call us to transformed and enlivened Christian discipleship. Don't miss it."
—L. Gregory Jones, dean of the Divinity School and professor of theology, Duke University

"Phil Kenneson is not an optimist--he is too insightfully realistic about the sick state of Christian life in North America. Nor is Kenneson a pessimist--he has too much trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform God's people. Instead, through Life on the Vine he offers a forthright and superbly hopeful prophetic call. His challenges are coupled with meaty biblical reflections, astute cultural analysis and sound suggestions for positive responses. I pray that many will hear what the Spirit is saying to the church through this outstanding book."
—Marva J. Dawn 
Adjunct Professor of Spiritual Theology, Regent College (Vancouver)
Author of Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down and A Royal "Waste" of Time

"Phil Kenneson has provided us the uncommon gift of making 'real' our Christian discipleship in the midst of a culture whose 'reality' principles are often intractably antagonistic to our faith. In many ways, the advanced industrial and technological culture of American capitalism has colonized our minds, hearts and behaviors. Life on the Vine is telling diagnosis of our spiritual ills. What is more rare and welcome, it is a practical, prophetic, Scripture-based prescription for reanimating our lives in the Spirit, bearing the Spirit's gifts, which not only challenge culture but glorify God. I will pray through this book for my annual eight-day retreat."
—John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., Ethics Across the Curriculum
Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University

"'The way, the Truth and the life,' he said. Pray tell me then why Christian doctrine has been overwhelmed by truth questions alone. How he lived, the way he walked, put holy fire in his words. Kenneson's Life on the Vine has the simplicity of truth. Taking seriously the questions of young adults about the good news and the church that proclaims it allows them to see why the way and the life can still call for ultimate commitment of everything we are and could be. This is a book for young energy and aged wisdom. As old as Scripture, as fresh as the coming millennium."
—Frederick W. Norris
Emmanuel School of Religion

"Phil Kenneson is one of our best bright young minds writing for the church today. His astute and faithful critique of our consumerist culture is both incisive and life-giving for Christians. The insights in this book name well the challenge before the North American church. Yet he moves beyond critique to offer a biblical, hopeful word as well as specific, practical things we can do to be more faithful disciples in a culture that wants us only to be more aggressive consumers."
—William H. Willimon
Dean of the Chapel, Duke University

Read more:

Sacramento - Alumni 14 Day Coach TourJoin your fellow Taylor Alumni on a 
14-Day Coach Tour to the Triennial Conference in Sacramento

Hosted by the Taylor College & Seminary Alumni Association

You are invited to join the Taylor Alumni Association for  a wonderful 14-day coach tour from Edmonton to California. Travel through Idaho and Oregon to San Francisco, where you will enjoy a harbour cruise, then head to Sacramento.

After spending July 1-5 in Sacramento during the  Triennial Conference, head towards home starting with a visit to the redwood forest, including a drive through Avenue of the Giants. Next, it’s two days in Newport, OR with a hotel on the beach, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural wonders of Oregon.  July 9th and 10 see you heading to the Bavarian community of Leavenworth, WA, then on to the beautiful Okanagan to Three Valley Gap in British Columbia, arriving home on July 11.

NOTE: You do NOT have to be an alumni to join us, and you are welcome even if not attending the Triennial Conference.
Alumni Association smCost: $2,440 + GST per person, & includes:
  • Admission to the planned attractions 
  • All lodging
  • All breakfasts (except in Sacramento)
  • Some lunches/dinners & coffee breaks 
To secure your seat, a non-refundable $100.00 deposit is required. A payment of $1,000 is due on Feb. 15, 2015 and the balance of $1562 due on May 15, 2014. 
For more information and to secure your spot, please contact TAA President Eric Peters at (780) 619-0910 or email


THRiVE 2015


Dear colleague in ministry,

Recent large-scale studies on those who serve in vocational ministry have shown some significant findings regarding the key issues that lead to long-term health and vitality in ministry. As part of its new Healthy Pastors Initiative, the Wahl Centre at Taylor invites pastors to come together for a three day event that will dig deeply into the top five areas of critical need. These insights, prayerfully considered, have the power to profoundly re-shape your ministry and your personal life.

Among the key areas to be discussed are:

  • Spiritual Formation
  • Self-Care
  • Emotional and Cultural Intelligence
  • Leadership and Management
  • Marriage and Family

No matter how long you have been in ministry, no matter how well (or how poorly) things are going, and no matter if you feel like you are too busy to attend – This event is for you.

DATE: May 19-22, 2015Healthy Pastors

LOCATION: Camp Caroline

COST: $300.00 (incl. meals/accommodation)

Register Online: (Registration will open by January 5, 2015)

Register by Phone: 780-431-5200



We hope you will join us for the 30th Annual E.P. Wahl Lectures at Taylor Seminary! This annual lectureship is intended to directly serve those who serve in ministry, offering a day of professional development and training that addresses practical ministry issues. Everyone is welcome to attend, and Taylor students are required to attend in lieu of classes.

In 2015, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Phil Kenneson of Milligen College. Dr. Kenneson is the Kenneth E. Starkey Chair of Bible and Christian Ministries, and Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Milligan College, a Christian liberal arts college in northeast Tennessee.

Location: Taylor Seminary (Stencel Hall), 11525 -- 23 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB
Date: Friday, March 20, 2015; 9 AM - 4:30 PM
Cost: $69.00 (Save $20 when you register before March 1 -- just $49.99 for the early bird rate)

Our topic for 2015 will be:

WahlCentre-Logo-reverseThe Church as Sign of the Kingdom:
Practicing the Patience of God

In four lectures, Dr. Kenneson will address the following related topics:

“Bearing Witness to the Patience of God" 
If the church is called to be an embodied sign of God’s kingdom, the shape of that sign and that kingdom will bear, by God’s grace, something of the marks of God’s character. This session explores the biblical and theological witness to God's patience.

“Bearing the Fruit of Patience in a World Addicted to Speed"
Although the church is called to embody, even if imperfectly, something of God’s patience in the world, it never does so in a cultural vacuum. This session takes up patience as a fruit of God's Spirit and explores some of the cultural obstacles and opportunities to embodying such a virtue in contemporary cultures.

“Embodying the Patience of God: Slow Church Practices”   
If the contemporary church sought to embody a different relationship to time, a different rhythm, what might this look like? Some have called it “slow church.”  This session sketches some of the historic practices of the church many congregations already engage in that might be used by God to cultivate such a common life. 

“Embodying the Patience of God: More Slow Church Practices”
Although there is no universal blueprint for embodying the patience of God, there are plenty of practices in the Christian tradition that might enliven our imaginations about what this might look like.  This session examines some additional practices that might nurture such an embodied witness.

Phil Kenneson, guest lecturer at Taylor SeminaryABOUT DR. PHIL KENNESON
Phil Kenneson lives in East Tennessee with his wife Kim and their five children. He has taught theology and philosophy at Milligan College since 1992, and is the author of Life on the Vine (IVP, 2009). In addition to teaching, he enjoys cooking, running and hiking in the mountains. Dr. Kenneson has been involved in the Ekklesia Project since its early days - See more at:

Philip D. Kenneson, Ph.D.
The Kenneth E. Starkey Chair of Bible and Christian Ministries, Professor of Theology and Philosophy (1992), Milligan College

B.A., Butler University;
M.Div., Emmanuel Christian Seminary;
Ph.D., Duke University.

Click here to read more about Dr. Kenneson's newest book, Life on the Vine.

Dr. Andrew MacRae was the speaker at the first inaugural E.P. Wahl Lectures in 1986. Since then, a Who's-Who of Christian leaders and academics have joined us for this annual lectureship. Established in memory of the founder of Taylor, Dr. E.P. Wahl, this lectureship features a distinguished scholar who comes to offer insights into some aspect of ministry. Local pastors, academicians and students join together is what has become an important annual event for biblical scholars, church leaders and anyone involved in the ministry of the church. Past speakers have included Dr. Haddon Robinson, Dr. Howard Hendricks, Dr. Calvin Miller, Dr. William Willimon, Dr. Os Guinness, and many more.


Good Churches Don't have Conflict, Do They?

A bite-sized learning opportunity - just $25!

On Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 the Wahl Centre at Taylor invites you to our next Lunch & Learn for Church Administrative Professionals. This event is for anyone who loves our annual CAPs events, with practical training and networking for those who serve the church in an administrative role.

This is an hour-long workshop that looks into recognizing a variety of conflict styles we all employ, as well as how to find the opportunities for future blessing that can come from managing conflict well. This workshop is in response to many conversations with church leaders about the sort of basic training on fundamental issues that will help teams function at their best.

Lunch & Learn runs from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, with a boxed lunch provided by Sunterra Markets. The hour-long workshop looks into recognizing a variety of conflict styles we all employ, as well as how to find the opportunities for future blessing that can come from managing conflict well.

Join us for some learning, a delicious lunch and the opportunity to network with other church administrative professionals.

DATE: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
TIME: 11 AM to 1 PM
LOCATION: Taylor Seminary
COST: $25

NOTE: Our first CAPS Lunch and Learn in 2014 sold out - Register right away!