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

photo-79

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...]

#OccupyAdvent: “Let the Reader Understand” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Mark 13)

Backing up a few verses to look at the preceding context for this week's Gospel Lesson (Mark 13:24-37), in Mark 13:14 the Gospel writer makes a curious aside: "But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.” I am fascinated that Mark did not place his hopes in his audience reading between the lines. He, instead, explicitly inscribed a parenthetical reference “(let the reader understand)” into t … [Read more...]

#WhyPray?

 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...]

25 Books Every Christian Should Read

Religion-and-Faith-Book-Club

(Renovaré, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, 2011, 390 pages.) Renovaré is from the Latin word for "renew" or "restore." It is also a non-profit organization focused on spiritual formation. Their latest project is a list of the top 25 books every Christians should read. On one hand, I have deep respect for many of those who selected this list (Richard Foster, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, and Dallas Willard). On the other hand, if I were empowered with the o … [Read more...]

Mutants and Mystics

mutants-and-mystics

(Jeffrey J. Kripal, Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal, The University of Chicago Press, 2011, 353 pages.) Have you ever been a comic book lover?Have you ever had a paranormal experience?If so, the author reports that his ideal reader is "Someone who (a) has undergone a profound paranormal event and (b) is obsessed with science fiction or superhero comics and does not know why." … [Read more...]

“Every Bush Is a Burning Bush”

IMG_1869

The verdant heat of summer is my favorite season, but I am learning to love the fall. Everywhere I look, I am arrested by lively colors: luscious yellows, warm oranges, and especially the vibrant hues of red:I titled this post "Every Bush Is a Burning Bush" as an allusion to the story in Exodus 3 of Moses hearing God speaking to him out of a burning bush. But we miss at least half of the picture if we read the Bible as only about 'miraculous' events that happened thousands of years ago. … [Read more...]

Cultivating a Theology of Abundance

Naomi King (@revnaomi) tweeted a great question recently: "What are your favorite #inspirational quotes about abundance?" Her prompt reminded me of how critical a theology of abundance is to a healthy spirituality. In contrast, a theology of scarcity can spiral into an unhealthy spirituality. A search for the words "abundance" and "scarcity" on my computer turned up the following quotes: … [Read more...]

Four Spiritual Practices for Preaching on Matthew 25 (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Nov 20, 2011)

Spiritual Practice I: Visio Divina To begin to reflect on this scripture, I invite you first to slow down. Take three deep breaths. And gaze softly at Robert Lentz's icon "Christ in the Margins." What resonates with you most strongly about this picture? What word, phrase, image, or emotion does this image trigger in you? What surprises, excites, or disturbs you about this representation? The name for this icon is "Christ in the Margins," echoing the call in Matthew 25 to see Christ in the … [Read more...]

Spiritual Practice: “Visio Divina”

I recently attended a plenary session facilitated by Trevor Hudson, an author and retreat leader from Johannesburg, South Africa. He invited us to experiment with a spiritual practice known as visio divina ("divine seeing") on the icon "Christ and Abbot Mena" (late 6th-early 7th century, housed at the Louvre). … [Read more...]

Pilgrimage to the New MLK Memorial in D.C.

I recently had the opportunity to visit The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. It has been said that, "tourists pass through a place, but pilgrims allow a place to pass through them." The site is gloriously located on the edge of the tidal basin, halfway between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, and I sought to pass through our capital latest's memorial in a spirit of pilgrimage.  … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X