Ron Sider: An Evangelical Christian Worth Listening To

(Ronald J. Sider, Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget, InterVarsity Press, 2012, 171 pages.) The title of this post could be seen as flippant, callous, arrogant, or all of the above -- implying that an "Evangelical Christian Worth Listening To" is such a rarity as to be worthy of remark. Well, in an age in which many conservatives exclusively watch Fox News (read: "Faux News"?) and read The Wall Street Journal, whereas many liberals watch MSNBC and read The New York T … [Read more...]

Have You Heard the One about the Pope Who Quit? (Seriously!)


(Jon Sweeney, The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation, Image Books, 2012, 288 pages) Jon Sweeney has written a relatively breezy history of an obscure chapter in church history: the story of Peter Morrone (1215-1296), a saintly monk, revered sage, and confirmed hermit, who stumbled backward into becoming Pope Celestine V. His immediate predecessor to St. Peter's throne, Pope Nicholas IV died on April 4, 1292. The normal procedure called for a new pope to be … [Read more...]

“Sorry I’ve Been Busy!” How to Bring Your Life Back Into Focus


(Arthur Boers, Living Into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions, Brazos Press, 2012, 226 pages) "I'm sorry it's taken us so long to get in touch. I've just been so busy recently." I hear myself and my friends make apologies along these lines far too frequently. But "busyness" is rarely an idle excuse. Most of us are overwhelmed with responsibilities much of the time. And it can be easy to slip into the trap of wearing our busyness as a badge of honor or of trying to prove that … [Read more...]

Sermon Series Retrospective: “Holy Adventure”


For Lent 2011, we studied Bruce Epperly's book Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living. The following are the sermon titles and a brief excerpt of the content:“Life Is a Holy Adventure” Being fully present — even to the most mundane tasks — can allow you to experience the sacred and cultivate gratitude for the simple joy of being alive. “Transforming God” What does it look like to read the Bible for “formation” instead of “information?” Why would you want to “Start slowly, so that grad … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Western Universalist


(Rajiv Malhotra, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, HarperCollins, 2011, 474 pages) Rajiv Malhotra's latest book challenges many Western assumptions. He invites his Western readers to see their worldview through the eyes of India. Having read a fair amount of postmodern philosophy, I was sympathetically inclined to his general perspective, but I am willing to confess that at the end of the book I remain, for better or worse, a fairly unreconstructed Western Un … [Read more...]

How to Decide If You Should Read Diana Butler Bass’ New Book


The latest book from my fellow Patheos blogger Diana Butler Bass arrived on my doorstep last night. I've enjoyed her previous books, and am looking forward to this most recent offering in particular after hearing her lecture a few months ago on some of the book's main themes.In celebration of yesterday's publication date, I'm posting the three links to the blog posts I wrote about those lectures. You may find these posts helpful in discerning if you want to read the whole book: “Reclaiming C … [Read more...]