Top 10 Best Books Read in 2011


The following are the top ten best books I've read so far this year in alphabetical order by the author's last name (because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of making this list):Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart:I have been a fan for many years of Bourgeault's work, including her most recent book The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity and especially her … [Read more...]

How is God coming into the world this Advent? A Theoblogger Challenge

Patheos recently invited responses in 100 words or less to the question, ‎"How is God coming into the world this Advent?" My response was the following: At the first Advent (so to speak), the angel said to Mary about the still-unborn Jesus, "Blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Lk. 1:42). (See the precedent in Dt. 28:4.) This Advent, God is being birthed into the world again wherever there is what Paul called the "fruit of the Spirit . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fa … [Read more...]

#OccupyAdvent: Befriending Darkness, Letting Go, and Letting Be

Whatever is foreseen in joy / Must be lived out from day to day. / Vision held open in the dark / By our ten thousand days of work. / Harvest will fill the barn; for that / The hand must ache, the face must sweat.And yet no leaf or grain is filled / By work of ours; the field is tilled / And left to grace. That we may reap, / Great work is done while we're asleep. / When we work well, a Sabbath mood / Rests on our day, and finds it good. —Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems … [Read more...]

Magnificat! Learning to Sing Mary’s Song (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Luke 1:46-55)

I love that the Revised Common Lectionary includes the Magnificat as the alternative Psalm reading for the third Sunday of Advent. Mary was bold to sing about God, “You have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly / You have filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” And this Advent season, I invite to consider, "How is God calling you to sing new lyrics to Mary’s song?"How are hope, peace, joy, and love being birthed in you this Christm … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 7 of 7)

The introductory post to this blog series is available here. The highlights from Bass’ three lectures are available here, here, and here. Borg’s first two lectures are here and here. My musings on the lectures are in brackets. Marcus Borg's third and final lecture was titled: Reclaiming Christian Language: Compassion and Justice … [Read more...]

Musical Setting of Jesus’ Greatest Commandments?


Diana Butler Bass helped popularize the term "Great Command Christianity," and I'm on record as agreeing with her about how central Jesus' "Greatest Commandments" should be for progressive Christians.When asked, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus could have selected from the Torah any of the commandments. He could have chosen one the passages that have been used to justify patriarchy, xenophobia, or violence; but he chose the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5 that, “You shall love th … [Read more...]