Cultivating Contentment: Enough Is as Good as a Feast

(Adam Hamilton, Enough, Revised and Updated: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity, Abingdon Press, 2009/2012, 165 pages.) "Enough is as good as a feast," according to proverbial wisdom. Indeed a feast (or an all-you-can-eat buffet) can leave us stuffed, bloated, and miserable. And in this book Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of the well-known and fast-growing United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, invites us to make analogous insights into how we approach … [Read more...]

What To Do If You Need a Retreat, But Can’t Leave Home

(Paula Huston, Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit, Ave Maria Press, 2011, 170 pages.)I have had the opportunity to go on a few five-day contemplative retreats in recent years: to the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky (where Thomas Merton was cloistered), the hard-to-reach Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico, and the saguaro-cacti-surrounded Desert House of Prayer in Arizona. Unfortunately, the last of these retreats was more than five years ago.In r … [Read more...]

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...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 4 of 7)

The introductory post to this blog series is available here. The highlights from Bass' first lecture are available here and Borg's here. My musings on the lectures are in brackets. Diana Butler Bass' second lecture (of three total lectures) was titled, “Faith: From Convention to Experience.”[This title reminds me of James Fowler's important work on Stages of Faith, particularly the shift from Stage 3, "Conventional" faith to Stage 4, "Individuative-Reflective" faith. For more, see my post … [Read more...]

Highlights from Marcus Borg and Diana Butler Bass Lectures (Part 1 of 7)

On Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture series on "Speaking Christian--Why Christian words have lost their meaning and power and how they can be restored" with Diana Butler Bass and Marcus Borg at First Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, Maryland.Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture; and Borg is an internationally known academic, biblical and Jesus Scholar, and a Canon Theologian at  Trinity Episcopal C … [Read more...]


 My fellow Patheos blogger Tony Jones is asking the important question "Why pray?" as research for a book he is writing on prayer. You can follow the responses through the Twitter hashtag #WhyPray or follow the Storify feed. I've collected my top ten responses below: … [Read more...]