The blog and the book: two ways of writing…

My post from yesterday is getting a lot of hits, and I appreciate the comments people have left. I need to go on the record as saying, yes, I love books too! As anyone who has been to my house can attest, it is full of books and I keep getting more all the time. My post from yesterday has as much to do with the joy of writing as with the future of "the book" as a media format.I found this person's feedback interesting: If you feel called the write this book, as it seems to me you clearly do, … [Read more...]

Future of the Book

Since I started working in earnest on my new book (tentatively titled The Big Book of Christian Mysticism) last month, I've written about 13,000 words and have harvested another 10k or so from various parts of this website. That represents a little less than 1/6 of what the total book should be (yes, that's 150,000 words, like I said, the tentative title has "big book" in it). Of course, all this is first/rough draft material, which will be revised, reworked, rewritten, reorganized, many times … [Read more...]


The other day I took a walk with a friend of mine, about my age, who is going through a spiritual transition. He was at one point a very devout Christian, going to seminary with the hope of becoming a missionary. But a crisis of faith cut that journey short, and launched him on an unexpected trajectory of criticism toward organized religion that has finally resulted in his declaring to me, just the other night, that he has begun to wonder if perhaps he is an atheist. It became clear from our … [Read more...]

Happy Christmas

It's almost time for bed, but I wanted to post a couple of photos to the blog and write about our happy Christmas. Fran and Rhiannon and I are in Hampton, Virginia, visiting my father.We exchanged gifts; as usual, my loot consisted mostly of media, from The Origin of Fire by Anonymous 4, to Quantum Theology by Diarmuid O'Murchu, to — lest anything think I'm all work and no play — Ratatouille. After the presents were all unwrapped, Fran got out her guitar (an "early" gift from my sister-in-law … [Read more...]

Distinctive Qualities of Celtic Christianity

I"ve been pondering the question, "What are the disctinctive qualities of Celtic Christianity?" In thinking about this, five particular points emerged. Celtic Christianity, as expressed in the poetry, prayers, folklore and hagiography of the earliest Christians of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, appears to have these five distinctive qualities:Hospitality, and particularly hospitality to all wisdom. This is epitomized by the early Celtic Christian tolerance/acceptance of the Celtic pagan past, … [Read more...]

Kakure Kirishitan

Follow this link to read a fascinating article about a sect in Japan that evolved after the earliest Christian missionaries arrived in the sixteenth century. When Christianity was suppressed starting in the early 1600s, Japan's first Christians had to adapt to survive — and they did, by blending Christianity with elements of Buddhism and Shinto. I think one can easily find parallels to the history of Christianity in Ireland, Africa, and elsewhere.Japan's "Hidden Christians" Face E … [Read more...]

The Eve of Yule

Tonight will be longest night of the year. The exact solstice moment occurs at 1:08 AM Saturday morning, Atlanta time. So happy winter solstice, everyone!This means that at Newgrange in Ireland, probably starting yesterday and running through Monday, the annual solstice event is occurring, meaning that for just a few minutes each morning — weather permitting — the sun will shine directly into the heart of this megalithic tomb. Even though it is about 5,000 years old, this ancient structure is p … [Read more...]